Small and Independent Can Be Our Future

In my work on behalf of Wisconsin’s independent craft breweries during the past four years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all across our beautiful state of Wisconsin to visit communities both large and small, and both rural and urban. It’s been a revealing experience to hear of the challenges faced by so many to simply get ahead. Even so, I’ve heard inspiring stories of perseverance and of overcoming long odds to lay the groundwork toward building a successful future.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on behalf of entrepreneurs who started small businesses with big dreams. They are turning long abandoned buildings in neglected areas of their communities into engines of economic development. The businesses they started in their kitchens and garages now fuel a tourism economy, a small manufacturing economy, and they are now poised to fuel a new agricultural economy. They work hard, they strive to provide good paying local jobs, and they give back to their communities. What began over 30 years ago as a craft brewing sector cobbled together with used dairy equipment in abandoned buildings is now contributing over $2 billion to Wisconsin’s economy.

There is no justification for our state government to hand out $4.5 billion to the absentee owners of a multinational corporation with no ties to our state. We should be devoting those taxpayer dollars to providing the infrastructure that Wisconsin’s small and homegrown businesses need in order to thrive.