By Evan Dannells

Published: September 15, 2022

Buy local, spend local — two phrases that are on signs across Wisconsin, and part of the reason why I moved to Madison back in 2002 to pursue a culinary career in a community with the largest producer-driven farmers’ market in the country.

I’ve spent my entire professional career in the kitchen, from dishwashing in a college cafeteria to sous chef at L’Etoile to executive chef of multiple downtown restaurants. In 2019, I finally achieved opening my own restaurant — Cadre Restaurant on University Avenue — and from the very beginning, we’ve focused on using local and seasonal Wisconsin ingredients.

As a small business owner, I believe it’s crucial that we have a strong leader fighting for us at the state Capitol. That’s why I’m proud to support Gov. Tony Evers for re-election.

Evers understands the importance of local businesses, and he’s doing the right thing to help us grow and thrive. Rather than focus on what divides us, Evers has brought people together and invested more than $1 billion to help small businesses. Because of him, Wisconsin ranks first in the country in aid allocated to businesses and second for aid directed to economic development.

To help fill vacant spaces, Evers created the Main Street Bounceback program, which has delivered grants to more than 5,200 small businesses who have opened brick and mortar locations on Main Streets in all 72 counties. These grants have transformed communities and allowed for businesses to expand their reach, pay rent and train workers — creating jobs and filling openings in the state. Nearly 50% of Wisconsinites work at a small business, so it’s incredibly important to invest in them.

Evers is also fighting to lower costs for small businesses and middle-class families. Last year, he signed nearly half a billion dollars in tax cuts for small businesses, a massive win for businesses across the state, and he worked with both parties to deliver a 15% income tax cut for middle-class Wisconsinites.

And to strengthen the state’s supply chain, Evers directed $15 million to meat processors to expand capacity, helping businesses like mine continue to utilize Wisconsin products.

Evers has a plan to continue investing in small businesses, and it includes expanding the Main Street Bounceback program, filling jobs, repealing the personal property tax, expanding access to capital and proudly supporting Wisconsin-made and Wisconsin-grown products.

Evers is working to establish our state as the small business powerhouse of the Midwest — but he also understands that for small businesses to thrive, we must do the right thing for our communities and have strong schools, good roads and high-quality and affordable internet access.

Evers has made historic investments in public education and in job training and apprenticeship programs, ensuring that every kid in Wisconsin has the opportunity to choose the best path for them. He’s fixed nearly 5,000 miles of roads and nearly 1,500 bridges, and his investments have led to affordable high-speed internet for over 387,000 homes, businesses and farms.

This week, I’m proud to join more than 100 small businesses across the state in endorsing Evers’ reelection campaign. It’s never been more important that our state has a commonsense leader who is committed to doing the right thing for small businesses, and Evers is that leader.

Chef Evan Dannells is the owner of Cadre Restaurant on University Avenue in Madison.