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Appleton area small business owners, farmers question US Senate candidates at roundtable

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Jul 06, 2022

APPLETON, Wis. (NBC 26) — At the Long Cheng Marketplace, Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate took part in a roundtable on Wednesday. Appleton area small business owners and farmers asked the questions.

"We’re all struggling with all the other small business owners across the state, trying to figure how we can navigate successfully to make a living," President of the Wisconsin Farmers Union Rick Adamski said.

As a farmer himself, he's seen the struggles of others. Adamski says the state has lost around 40,000 dairy farms over the last four decades.

"There's been a hemorrhaging of dairy farms in the State of Wisconsin for too long," he said.

At the roundtable, Adamski was satisfied with the responses to his question.

"Wisconsin Farmers Union is advocating for a dairy revitalization plan, a growth management plan," he said.

Also at the roundtable was Irene Strohbeen. She's a consultant to inventors who will become small business owners themselves. And she's concerned about retirement security.

"Small business owners typically can't offer a 401(k) plan," Strohbeen said.

She asked candidates if they would pass laws to assist, but Strohbeen didn't think there was enough discussion about what she wants.

"People would be automatically enrolled into an individual retirement account plan," she said.

As small business owners around Northeast Wisconsin search for solutions to their concerns, those like Strohbeen and Adamski will keep a close eye on the race for Senate.

"I am hopeful, because I think they really do understand," Adamski said.

Every candidate in the U.S. Senate race was invited, but just five Democrats attended.

The purpose of the roundtable was to familiarize the potential senators with issues impacting small businesses.