business

LaToya Dennis

Have you ever heard the saying “everything old is new again?” When it comes to the hemp industry in Wisconsin, that old saying is holding true.

Just ask former Milwaukee Alderman Mike McGee Junior and his business partner Maya Mays. They opened their first kiosk selling hemp-based products at Mayfair Mall back in July. Since then, they kiosk has turned into a store and they’ve added three others: 414 Hemp, 262 Hemp, 920 Hemp and 608 Hemp.

Jon Mattrisch

Every year, Milwaukee Magazine devotes an issue to the best of Milwaukee and the surrounding area.   

This year's "Best of MKE" is the first time in recent memory that the editors have turned to the readers for their thoughts, says Carole Nicksin, editor and publisher of Milwaukee Magazine. Choosing from nominees selected by magazine editors, the readership voted on everything from Best Burger to Best Esthetician.

"We just decided to change it up and hear from readers," explains Nicksin.

LaToya Dennis

Have you ever thought about opening a retail store? All summer long, some Milwaukee business owners have been getting the opportunity to test out having a physical store, free of charge. The program is called Pop-Up MKE, and it’s helped 19 minority entrepreneurs test out their dreams.

Tiffany Miller is one of those business owners. She says that, unfortunately, there’s a stigma attached to black business owners, especially in this city.

northridge-mall-miwlaukee-what-happening
Chuck Quirmbach

Northridge Mall was one of several large suburban malls built in the 1960s and '70s. It was at the far northwestern edge of Milwaukee — at 76th Street and Brown Deer Road. But the glory days didn’t last. The mall closed 15 years ago and has gone into extended limbo. 

Most of the buildings remain, but they're empty. It's a big-box ghost town with a chain link fence around it.

Entrepreneur Paul Schueller Believes in 'Learning, Not Lamenting'

Jun 19, 2018

Paul Schueller was interested in energy and environmental issues as a young boy in Port Washington and was lucky enough to get into that area as a pipeline construction engineer at Wisconsin Electric. He left the utility to form his own consulting firm, then in 1994 founded Franklin Energy, a Port Washington company that operates energy-saving programs for customers of utilities. Franklin does everything from running rebate programs for purchases of energy-saving light bulbs to performing energy audits for large corporations.

Ken Szallai Retires From Lake Express After 15 Years

Jun 11, 2018
Mitch Teich

In 1970, the Milwaukee Clipper ferry halted operations between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Michigan as interstate highway systems became prevalent and the cost of maintaining the 361-foot behemoth overwhelmed the company. More than 30 years later, a series of surprises and coincidences helped New Jersey native and former Port of Milwaukee director Ken Szallai to begin the Lake Express ferry to fill the historic gap.

John Byrnes: The Business of Investing in Businesses

May 30, 2018
Mason Wells photo

John Byrnes spent decades building companies – his own and others’. After running the private equity group at Marshall & Ilsley bank for 15 years, he managed its spinout into a new private equity firm. Under John’s oversight, Mason Wells raised three funds, the last reaching $525 million. New Mason Wells leaders have gone on to raise a fourth, $615 million fund.

Mitch Teich

Construction is underway in Racine County on the first elements of Foxconn’s massive factory complex.  Plans call for the factory to employ thousands of workers who will, at first assemble television sets, but later are expected to build high-tech glass screens for electronic devices.

The Foxconn development elicited an unprecedented state incentive package, with advocates saying it has the potential to transform the economy of the region.  But a new report out says another part of the manufacturing sector is already having a transformative effect.

Maayan Silver

Hundreds of people lined up hours before the doors opened to enter IKEA's new store in Oak Creek Wednesday morning. There was a DJ, a band, and door prizes.

WUWM's Maayan Silver was there too. She wanted to know what drew customers to the store's grand opening and how IKEA might impact the local retail scene.

Here's what people in line had to say:

Maayan Silver

Foxconn is promising thousands of jobs in construction, and once the massive factory in Mount Pleasant is complete, in information technology and manufacturing.

Others are wondering whether people who need the jobs most will get them, like those on Milwaukee's north and south sides.

Tech colleges and workforce development organizations point to community organizations as the grassroots touchpoint to reach minority workers.

Mitch Teich

For a lot of us, the week leading up to Easter is a time to slow down.  Some might see it as a period to contemplate their faith, or simply enjoy the chance to spend time with family.  But the days leading up to Easter are anything but slow if you're Jim Niemann.

Ward 4

Women's Entrepreneurship Week is the brainchild of leaders at a Milwaukee co-working space called Ward 4.

About a year and a half ago, these leaders figured that it was important to connect women just starting out in an often-solitary business environment with mentors and others. Quickly, they figured out they were onto something, as that day grew into a full week’s worth of events.

Ken Lund / Flickr

People working to strengthen the entrepreneurial and innovation landscape in Milwaukee and Madison launched a new effort recently. Madwaukee Talks is a series of events organized by the Milwaukee Institute and StartingBlock Madison, and seeks to strengthen the economy of both cities.

Kimpton Journeyman Hotel

Many of us might be thinking of a getaway for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, but for people from elsewhere, Milwaukee is a destination.  And when they get here, they’ll be coming to a place that has seen a dramatic increase in the number of hotels and hotel rooms available.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It seems as though whenever there’s an announcement about a business moving to or expanding anywhere across the U.S., those deals aren’t made without some sort of incentives from the state and municipalities.

Last week, Governor Scott Walker announced that Foxconn would open its first U.S. plant in Wisconsin and in turn, the state would provide $3 billion in incentives.

WUWM spoke with UW-Madison economics professor Noah Williams about why states offer deals to companies.

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