Madison-area business leaders are optimistic about an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic under new President Joe Biden’s administration, but many are wary of quick and drastic changes to the minimum wage, environmental regulations and other policies.

Some of Biden’s priorities — such as managing the COVID-19 pandemic at the federal level, overhauling immigration policies and investing in public research and development — are goals shared by some local business organizations, such as the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP).

Hoping to meet in the middle

WMC endorsed Trump in the 2020 election, but business owners are far from a monolith of staunch Republicans. In fact, Brandon said many business owners tend to be political centrists, and Biden’s history as a moderate Democrat willing to work across the political aisle can boost the confidence in this administration of those business leaders.

Wisconsin Technology Council president Tom Still said the makeup of Congress also signals potential good for the business community. The House of Representatives is controlled narrowly by Democrats 221-211, and the Senate is split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking ties.

Those narrow majorities, Still said, show promise that Republicans will remain involved in policy discussions and debates.

“It seems more likely that there will be an effort to move to the center and find solutions that work for all,” Still said.

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