business

Mitch Teich

Making your way as a newcomer in the business world can be hard enough.  But for people working in start-up businesses, especially without a lot of business experience behind them, the challenges can be daunting. 

"A lot of start-ups have people who are really good at one thing," says Kenzi Enright, community curator for a Milwaukee facility called Ward4. "Like, really really great at one skill.  But someone with a development background doesn't necessarily have a great sales background."

As You Wish Co. / Facebook

The entrepreneurial world can be hard to break into, especially when you’re a 20-something, still finishing up college. But that’s exactly what Jenna Terek set out to do when she founded As You Wish Co. The online retail store sells bracelets and necklaces, with a charitable business model.

Sarah Matthews

For years, maps and map books made by one local company have been staples of newsroom walls and passenger seats of delivery trucks.  But the end of an era is nearly at hand.

The Milwaukee Map Service - known to many simply as The Map Store - will shut its doors this spring. It is yet to be determined whether the business on 124th Street in Wauwatosa will continue to have an online presence.

Courtesy Quad/Graphics

Super Bowl 51 will kick off on Sunday in Houston.  Many football fans here in Wisconsin are still miffed that it will be the Atlanta Falcons, and not the Green Bay Packers, representing the NFC in the game against the New England Patriots.

But Wisconsin will be represented in its own way in the stadium, and in the homes of hundreds of thousands of football fans around the world.  This year’s physical Super Bowl game program was printed in Lomira, Wisconsin, by Quad/Graphics.

Maayan Silver

From the outside, it appears as though not much is going at the Milwaukee Mall. But inside, local entrepreneurs are running businesses, and running them without a lot of outside support. Located on the triangular intersection of Fond du Lac and North Avenue, the building was originally a Sears, Roebuck & Company store, built in 1927. Local newspapers at the time reported that it brought hundreds of jobs into the area.

Lakefront Brewery

Well before dawn on Friday, hundreds of Milwaukee beer lovers will line up to buy a limited edition brew. Lakefront's Black Friday Beer doesn't go on sale until 8:00 a.m. But customers will bundle up and wait for hours, in what's become a new holiday shopping tradition.

Four years ago, Lakefront Brewery started offering a Black Friday Beer. Lakefront only sells it at the brewery, just north of downtown, and only on the day after Thanksgiving.

courtesty of Pete Cooney

Locally made popsicles, spring rolls and other innovations may just be the key to spurring growth on Milwaukee's near west side. 

Mitch Teich

The ancient Greek storyteller known as Aesop may or may not have really existed. The stories generally credited to Aesop are from the realm of the fantastic; they’re fables that seek to offer a lesson.

The employees of a Milwaukee manufacturing company recently might have thought they were hearing a fable. But it turned out to be a true story that was – for them – just as fantastic. And it goes by the name of ESOP, or Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

Fotolia

If you work for a big enough employer, it's likely that you've been urged to participate in the company's wellness program. It could be an educational seminar or an office-wide weight loss competition, something that incentivizes healthier lifestyle choices. The idea is healthy employees increase productivity and save a company money. 

Couresty of the Small Business Administration

Small businesses are a vital part of Wisconsin's and the nation's economies. When these businesses struggle, it often portends deeper issues for the economy at large.

Access to tools and networking needed to start and grow your own business can be difficult to attain without the proper resources.

Arthur Thomas / Biz Times

We know that Milwaukee’s manufacturing industry has changed greatly since the days when much of the big things in America were assembled here.  The transformation of the Menomonee Valley and the 35th Street corridor are both testaments to that shift.

But one hold-out from those days has been the industry that builds mining equipment. Two major companies employed a substantial workforce to do that job. But more recently, that industry has seen its fortunes erode as well, with jobs eliminated outright or moved elsewhere.

Former Muslim employees at the Ariens Company in Wisconsin have filed a complaint alleging religious discrimination.

The group acting on behalf of the former workers is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. CAIR says the company has refused to make accommodations for prayer breaks.

The problems between Muslim employees and Ariens management started earlier this year, according to Maha Sayed, a civil rights attorney for CAIR.

Mitch Teich / WUWM

No matter what our DIY aptitude, nearly all of us have a simple tool kit around the house to take on basic jobs. You probably have a hammer, a couple of screwdrivers, a pair of pliers, an odd assortment of hex keys for your IKEA and Target furniture and often, an adjustable wrench.

One of the main frustrations users have with the adjustable wrench is trying to keep it tightened down on the bolt they're working on.

JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

The Council on American Islamic Relations plans to file an EEOC complaint against Ariens, a Wisconsin company about 90 minutes north of Milwaukee.

In January, the firm changed its policy regarding prayer times for Muslim workers. Instead of continuing to allow them to pray when their faith dictates, particularly at sundown – which changes, Ariens set specific times. The 50-plus workers and company management have been unable to come to an agreement.

In January, the company established two set 10-minute breaks per shift, for Muslim employees to say their daily prayers. Beforehand, the 53 workers could say their prayers when their faith requires such as as sunset, which moves with the seasons.

When the company began enforcing the policy, dozens of its Muslim employees of Somali descent walked off the job in protest. Since then, according to the company, 32 of the workers have begun abiding by the policy, 14 resigned and this week, Ariens terminated seven who violated the company edict.

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