Small Business Advisor - October 2019

Small Biz News

Small Business Advisor - October 2019

DNR Launches New Voluntary Environmental Assessment Program for Businesses

Contact: Erika Kluetmeier, Sustainability Advisor, 608-267-0865,

MADISON, Wis. - The Department of Natural Resources announced the launch of its new Enviro-Check program: Enviro-Check empowers businesses to proactively verify they are meeting environmental requirements through a third-party assessment. This voluntary program also provides limited liability for violations that are reported and corrected.

"The new Enviro-Check program better aligns with the department's approach of providing tools that empower businesses to meet or exceed environmental protection requirements," said DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole. "This new program speaks to who we are as an organization, and reflects our positive, customer-driven approach to finding ways to improve our state's environment and economy."

Businesses can participate in the Enviro-Check program anytime, but it is especially useful when there are changes at a facility, for example, staff or management turnover, buying or selling a business, new processes or new regulations. An added benefit of Enviro-Check is that it provides a higher level of confidence among lenders, buyers, supply chains and customers that the business is effectively managing their environmental practices.

"We all win when businesses are actively managing their environmental compliance, translating into a safer, healthier environment and more efficient, profitable businesses," Cole said.


Air Program report shows continued improvements to state’s air quality

Air quality in Wisconsin continues to improve! The 2019 Air Quality Trends Report provides the latest official state monitoring data for air pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act. This year’s report once again shows that concentrations of most pollutants continue to decrease throughout the state.

The continued decrease in fine particle (PM2.5) concentrations is one of several success stories highlighted in the report. In southeast Wisconsin for example, PM2.5 concentrations were violating the 24-hour standard just a decade ago. Today, those concentrations are roughly 40 percent lower than the standard and continue to decrease. Since 2002, overall concentrations of PM2.5 have decreased by 35 percent across the state.

Other success stories include the 50 percent drop in emissions of ozone-forming pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and a 68 percent drop in sulfur dioxide emissions since the early 2000s. Due in part to these significant reductions, 94 percent of Wisconsin’s population lives in areas meeting all federal air quality standards. Parts of six counties along the Lake Michigan shoreline are not meeting the federal ozone standards. However, emissions of ozone-forming pollutants continue to decrease across the state, as the federal standard gets more stringent. It is a priority for the department to continue to address the areas not meeting air quality standards through working with partners, conducting additional monitoring research, and engaging with other states.

The 2019 Air Quality Trends Report along with historic reports are available on DNR’s air quality web page: Current air quality conditions in Wisconsin can be found on the Wisconsin Air Quality Monitoring Data webpage:

Next Small Business Environmental Council Meeting

DNR’s Small Business Environmental Council will meet on November 14, 2019, from 1:00-3:00 pm, at 101 South Webster Street, Madison, WI in room 413. The council will be planning for their 2020 schedule of meetings and events. If you have an interest in having the council present at your event or inviting them to tour your business and learn more about your interactions with DNR, please attend this meeting.

The Small Business Environmental Council works to make sure the small business community gets the help they need from the DNR. Council members advise the DNR about how existing rules affect small businesses, provide their perspective on proposed regulations, and help make DNR documents easier to understand. The governor and the legislature appoint seven members of the council and the eighth is from the DNR. Together, they serve as the voice of Wisconsin’s small business community at the DNR. Learn more about the Council at

Financial Resources

Small business seeking capital can access a free online Lender Match tool that connects you with participating SBA-approved lenders. Answer a few questions about your business and get results in as little as five minutes. You can learn more about Lender Match at SBA’s website, including their checklist on what materials to have ready before you talk with a lender:

Small businesses struggling to recover from recent floods may have learned the hard way that flood insurance is a critical step in risk management planning for their business. Learn more about flood insurance: