Business loans available for storm damage

Businesses damaged in storms that struck west-central Wisconsin are eligible for no-interest microloans through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to help with their repair costs.

The WEDC allocated $1 million in funding to the microloan program to help businesses impacted by that storm.

“Our aim is to provide immediate aid to businesses that suffered losses in the storms,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a news release.

Businesses are eligible for no-interest microloans of up to $20,000, which are intended as short-term funding for repairs and operating expenses until long-term recovery money can be secured.

Officials have already identified 28 businesses in Barron and Polk counties that were impacted by the July 18 storms. Other businesses that suffered damage can get information on the microloans through the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission website,

The severe storms went from southeast Minnesota to western Wisconsin, bringing torrential rains and at least one tornado, according to the National Weather Service.

Marketing & Social Media Conference is Sept. 25

The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce’s 11th Annual Marketing & Social Media Conference will be Sept. 25 at The Florian Gardens, 2340 Lorch Ave.

The conference will last from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and it will include presentations for people of varying skill and experience when it comes to marketing strategies and using social media.

Erin Trowbridge, co-owner of Four Peas Consulting, will begin the conference with her keynote speech on the difference between manipulating and inspiring an audience when it comes to responsible marketing.

Following the networking lunch provided with the cost of admission, there will be a general session from Volume One publisher Nick Meyer and others from his staff with tips on how to make your own videos.

Breakout sessions throughout the conference will cover a variety of topics including using Instagram, making promotional products, handling bad online reviews, analytic tools and making efficient use of gadgets.

Registration costs $79 for chamber members, $109 for nonmembers and $49 for students. The registration deadline is Sept. 20.

For more information or to register go online to or call 715-834-1204.

Short Takes

• Co-owners Bobbie Sue Baker, Kimberly Martin and Josie Berenz opened VER, a hair salon at 427 Water St., with a grand opening on Saturday. The salon is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, go to

• J&L Auto Repair, 2708 Wilson St., Menomonie, has added rental of U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment and moving supplies to its services.

From staff reports