Milwaukee business owners adjust to impacts from COVID-19

Posted at 7:13 AM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 08:13:32-04

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee-based companies with national and global impact have new challenges this week.

We spoke to three different business owners, including one still making deals while in self-quarantine.

Nine Wisconsinites are in self-quarantine from one company alone. They spent hours fighting to get back from Uganda to Milwaukee and did so, just in the nick of time.

Josh Shefner, owner of Agricycle, is 10 days into a 14 day quarantine. He's thankful to be back home.

"I feel totally fine," said Shefner.

Shefner makes Jali Fruit Co. which are grown by farmers around the globe. Now he's trying to juggle orders of his sun dried fruit while in quarantine.

"It's been crazy from ports re-prioritizing what comes out of the country first," said Shefner, "Air freight is taking a week now to get somewhere."

Meanwhile in Mequon, Adam Albrecht, owner of advertising agency The Weaponry ,is juggling the new message his clients want customers to hear nationwide.

"One of the first ones to call us on Monday first thing and said, 'Let's change our messaging so that everyone who's dealing with financial challenges right now know that were here to help,'" said Albrecht.

It is hard to see his son go from practicing the piano for competition to taking music classes via FaceTime.

In Brookfied, Realtor Courtney Stefaniak says her family's realty company called Stefaniak Group is still closing homes, but admittedly a bit slower.

"We're going from a 30-day close to more realistically 40-45 days," she said.

She's seeing banks also taking precautions.

"They were spacing out their closings so they could disinfect everything in between, so once it was time for our closing we were let in," said Stefaniak.

She's ready to give virtual tours to future clients.

Our own TMJ4 News family has also felt the change. Dozens of our team members are working from home. The goal is to stop the spread and keep the most vulnerable in our community safe.

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