Back To Business


Milwaukee is taking steps to safely welcome back workers and visitors alike. To better understand the pace and dynamics of employees returning to downtown office buildings, Milwaukee Downtown continues to survey employers, property owners and building managers. According to the latest estimates, it appears employees are returning to our downtown office buildings at a higher rate than our peers across the nation. Building on our momentum, we expect this trend to continue as the year progresses and Milwaukee continues to advance towards a full re-opening. Click here for the survey summary.

View Our Downtown Employee Return Survey Results (Updated 7/19/21)

Active Streets for Businesses - Expanded Outdoor Seating Into Winter

Consumer survey data continues to point to the importance of safely spaced outside seating areas as a business recovery strategy to make patrons more comfortable at restaurants and bars. After a successful summer in which more than a dozen downtown locations participated, Milwaukee Downtown continues its support for the Active Streets for Business program and its extension to March 15, 2021. The modified program gives businesses the flexibility to make winter modifications to their outside spaces (i.e. partial tenting, heating elements, etc.) when approved by the City of Milwaukee. The application and guidelines for the Winter Active Streets program can be found here.

Reopening Guidance and Toolkits

WEDC Guidelines and Toolkits

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) created new guidelines and best practices for businesses transitioning into recovery.

A few general guidelines provided by WEDC include:

  • Implement telework and other social distancing practices
  • Require employees to stay home when sick
  • Promote hand-washing
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies for cleaning and disinfecting workspaces
  • In workplaces where it is not possible to eliminate face-to-face contact, consider assigning higher-risk employees work tasks that allow them to maintain a six-foot distance from others

WEDC provides more general guidelines here for keeping offices and workspaces clean, conducting meetings and implementing social distancing policies. If you’re looking for guidelines that are industry specific, visit WEDC’s website where they cover over 15 Wisconsin industries from agriculture and construction to salons and gyms. Be sure to visit these resources regularly as they are updated with new information as it becomes available.

BOMA International's Guide to Building Re-entry

BOMA International assembled a document, Getting Back to Work: Preparing Buildings for Re-Entry Amid COVID-19, that features guidelines for preparing commercial properties for the safe return of office tenants, building personnel, visitors, vendors and contractors. This document also identifies other operational and safety procedures that should be implemented, updated or enhanced. Click here to view the document.

MMAC Health & Safety Toolkit

MMAC and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) partnered to develop a toolkit to help businesses identify risks and implement health and safety procedures. Click here to view the toolkit.  

Badger Bounce Back Plan

Gov. Evers created the Badger Bounce Back plan for Wisconsin in order to decrease COVID-19 cases to a low level and increase the capacity in our health care system so businesses can begin opening in phases. Click here to view Wisconsin's current standing in the Badger Bounce Back plan and reported COVID-19 phases.