The old Ernest Tubb hit, “What Made Milwaukee Famous,” refers to beer. These days the song title could just as easily be applied to the entire state. That’s because in addition to the big city breweries, Wisconsin boasts over thirty craft breweries and just as many fully operational craft-beer brew pubs. Small beers are big business here. That could be why New Glarus Brewery founder and President Deb Carey was invited to sit across the table from the President at the White house yesterday.
Together with 14 other small business owners from around the country, Carey advised the President on job creation and small business incentives.
“Not everyone agreed and not everyone was a Democrat,” Carey said. “Obama recognizes that lobbyists for small businesses don’t always speak for all owners. He listened to us and asked sharp questions.”
Carey has participated in past administration business summits, one in Milwaukee, for example, that was led by Senior Administration staff. But until this week, she’s never been in the White House, let alone had the President’s ear. She says these gatherings make a difference and can point to specific, real policy that has emerged from the meetings; things like write-offs for equipment depreciation and tax credits for businesses that need new structures such as warehouses.
Before she left the White House, Carey was given a special present: two bottles of White House home brew. She’s bringing them along this Friday when Frederica Freyberg interviews her on Here and Now. Tune in to see if they’ll get opened…