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Jill Biden hears problems of area women in business

Brad Williams

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A group of women leading businesses in western Wisconsin got to speak with Dr. Jill Biden on Wednesday about the difficulties of being in business during the pandemic. 

The wife of presidential nominee Joe Biden was connected online with women who work in La Crosse and Eau Claire, during a Zoom conference hosted by Congressman Ron Kind. 

Adrian Lipscombe operates the Uptowne Cafe and Bakery on Caledonia Street, and she showed how she has had to set up outdoor dining tables in back of the cafe, because people can’t sit inside now.

Erin Klaus of Eau Claire, who runs an art collective called Tangled Up in Hue, says her business has tried to get federal relief funding, thinking the money was easy to obtain.

“That’s what we were hearing on TV,” said Klaus, “so much so that neighbors and friends who didn’t own businesses assumed we were just getting piles of money from the federal government. Not true.”

Biden spoke about the toll that COVID-19 has taken, beyond the deaths of 200,000 Americans: “the lost time with our loved ones, the mental toll of isolation and anxiety, and the shattered hearts of every family that is grieving a loved one. And it didn’t have to be this way.”

Biden told viewers that the 2020 election is “way too important” for voters to sit on the sidelines.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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