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Most Wisconsin small businesses support proposed iron ore mine


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Most of Wisconsin’s small businesses appear to be in favor of a proposed new iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.

The state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business said almost 82 percent of the members it surveyed agreed that, “state law should be changed to make it easier to allow mining in northern Wisconsin.”

Assembly and Senate mining committees endorsed a Republican package last week. It’s now headed to the Joint Finance Committee and then to the full Legislature.

The number of small businesses answering the federation’s survey was not disclosed, but the group said it represents over 11,000 small business owners in the state. Only 8.4 percent disagreed that new mining legislation should be passed, and 9 percent were undecided.

Federation director Bill Smith said his group believes that Gogebic Taconite’s proposed iron ore mine would be a boon to the economy, and create jobs throughout Wisconsin. Smith said his members wanted to be part of the debate – and most are excited about the project itself.