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Baldwin Touts Build Back Better Agenda in Visits to Eau Claire, Elmwood and Grantsburg

Baldwin toured a performing arts center, a meat processing plant and an industrial park

Eau Claire, WI – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin met with small business owners and local leaders during visits to the Pablo Center in Eau Claire, Sailer’s Food Market and Meat Processing in Elmwood, and Grantsburg Industrial Park in Grantsburg. Baldwin discussed how President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda is providing targeted relief to working people in a wide variety of sectors across Wisconsin.

Senator Baldwin was an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act, on which the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) program is modeled. Baldwin worked closely with the Small Business Administration during the implementation of the program to ensure that Wisconsin live event venues would be able to access the much-needed funds in a timely manner. Baldwin secured SVOG funding for the Pablo Center, as well as several other arts and culture venues in the state. Wisconsin received 218 grants worth a combined $169 million.

“Independent venues were some of the first establishments to shut down last year—and as we’ve already seen—they’ve been some of the last to reopen,” said Senator Baldwin. “The Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program provided a lifeline to many of our arts and culture venues in Wisconsin and I was glad to tour the Pablo Center today to see how they put their funds to work.”

“The Senator and her team have been staunch advocates for our creative economy, its impact on Wisconsin’s Tourism Industry and the industry-saving Save Our Stages legislation,” said Jason Jon Anderson, Executive Director of Pablo Center at the Confluence. “Through my role as the Wisconsin Precinct Captain on the advocacy committee for NIVA, the Senator deeply understands the impact of the $7.00 spent in the surrounding communities for every $1.00 spent in our venues/festivals. These initial awards ensure that our fastest economic catalysts have some relief for their ongoing operating expenses for the past 16 months of this pandemic.”

Senator Baldwin worked to secure $4 billion for food supply chain resiliency in the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March. Baldwin met with local business owners and meat processors to discuss the challenges small and medium-scale meat processors face when getting started in meat processing, expanding, and meeting the ever-strengthening food safety requirements from USDA.

“Sailer’s has been servicing Elmwood and the surrounding areas since 1923,” said Senator Baldwin. “It was great to visit a five generation Piece County family small business and discuss some of the unique challenges facing small meat processors. Business like ones I met with today are a cornerstone in regional and local economies and have made a huge impact on their local communities.”

“It’s times like these that us small processors stood up to the challenge of when this country was really in need for protein,” said Jake Sailer, Owner of Sailer’s Food Market and Meat Processing. “With our demand being high, its programs like the American Rescue Plan funding that would help us to add on to our facility, build new, purchase modern equipment to process more protein and fulfill the gap between the small/very small and large processor.”

Senator Baldwin helped the Village of Grantsburg secure a $1.4 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to construct road, water and sewer infrastructure to support a 26-acre expansion of the North Industrial Park and promote manufacturing sector growth. The development is expected to create 383 jobs, retain 43 current jobs, and generate $83 million in private investment.

“The federal investments for the Village of Grantsburg will support efforts to rebuild our infrastructure and move our Made in Wisconsin manufacturing economy forward,” said Senator Baldwin. “This funding shows that President Biden and Commerce Secretary Raimondo are committed to helping rural Wisconsin recover and build back better with job creation and economic development. I was thrilled to meet with local leaders today to discuss the planned expansion and look forward to what this funding can unlock for the community.”