The head of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is urging Wisconsin residents to continue to practice social distancing, hand washing and wearing mask, in order to protect the state’s businesses from a surge in new coronavirus cases.

“I have seen numbers anywhere from 20 to 30 percent anticipated closures and I think that’s really tied into the duration of the `Safer at Home’ order, and then continuing that,” WEDC Executive Director Missy Hughes said during a media conference call on Tuesday, with Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole.

A UW Oshkosh survey from April found that about a third of businesses indicated they would not be able to reopen if the pandemic conditions extended more than 3 months. “That’s why it’s critically important that we all continue to think about . . . the social distancing, and the hand washing and wearing masks because this is all going to be critical for regaining momentum in our economy,” said Hughes.

WEDC is looking at daily consumer credit card transactions, and information from regional economic development directors, to get a picture of the effects the coronavirus pandemic are having on Wisconsin businesses.

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