News

ICYMI: Urban Milwaukee: Opinion: Biden Infrastructure Fund Helps Business

Feb 18, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 18, 2022

Contact: Julia Hamelburg (julia.hamelburg@wisdems.org)

ICYMI: Urban Milwaukee: Opinion: Biden Infrastructure Fund Helps Business

MADISON, Wis. – President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is investing millions in Wisconsin’s airports, ports, and waterways – reducing shipping bottlenecks and bolstering supply chains. The investments, which build on Gov. Evers’ tireless work to fix Wisconsin’s roads and bridges, are supporting Wisconsin businesses that rely on importing and exporting Wisconsin-made products from across the state. 

Andy O’Neill, co-owner of The Wicked Hop in Milwaukee, wrote an op-ed for Urban Milwaukee, which celebrates Democrats’ investment in Wisconsin’s infrastructure. 

Read the full article here, or read key excerpts below:

Urban Milwaukee: Biden Infrastructure Fund Helps Business

For over 15 years, I’ve been lucky to co-own The Wicked Hop, a restaurant in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Over the years, I’ve watched our city and state burst with growth, as new restaurants, bars, and local businesses become staples in our community. 

Like so many of those businesses, we rely on goods from across the state and country – whether we’re bringing in our customer’s favorite ales and ciders, buying fresh produce, or shipping in glassware and silverware. Our business runs on American-made and Wisconsin-made products – we can’t operate without them. That’s why I keep a close eye on our ports. And believe me when I say, we feel every shipping delay. 

 When I heard that President Biden recently signed his infrastructure plan into law and that Democrats ensured the funding would go to our state’s ports, I knew this deal was going to be a game-changer for business owners like me. By rebuilding our ports, the infrastructure law will help tackle the biggest post-pandemic impact we’ve felt: shipping bottlenecks. What happens in Washington may often seem distant, but this $14 billion investment in our country’s ports will directly help my restaurant get back to a state of consistency and benefit the entirety of Wisconsin’s business owner community. 

[…]

Decades of outdated infrastructure and dramatically rising demand is a perfect recipe for shipping delays – which is why I’m so thankful for the passing of this historic law. 

Wisconsin has seven deep-draft commercial ports to invest in, meaning that this investment will have a huge impact on our state. The investment will rebuild the structurally deficient aspects of our ports and expand their capacity. And the infrastructure law goes a lot further than just ports and waterways: it will invest millions of federal dollars in our roads and bridges too. From cargo ships to trucking companies, this bill will keep products moving across Wisconsin to local businesses like mine in a more effective and safe way. There is no question about it: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest in our ports and ease shipping delays, keeping my restaurant up and running.

[…]

 Wisconsin is built on small businesses like mine and I’m so proud to be a part of Wisconsin’s tight-knit community. Although it’s been a challenge to overcome our state’s aging infrastructure, this federal legislation implemented at the state level, with our priorities in mind, will better every neighborhood across the state.  

As a restaurant owner, a father of four, and a born and raised Wisconsinite, I’m so excited about the future impacts we’re going to see from this legislation – from expanding access to the internet to rural communities and ensuring that clean drinking water is available to all families – all thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and those who helped pass it.

Andy O’Neill, co-owner of The Wicked Hop