’s most-read stories of 2021

In our annual look back at the stories that most piqued our readers’ interest this year, a return to more normal reading trends was the highlight.

Feature Most Read Of 2021 Panel

If our most-read and viewed articles, business briefs, galleries, and columns of 2021 are any indication, IB readers were eager to forget about the COVID-19 pandemic, even if only for a little bit, and focus on more normal business interests.

Whereas our audience unsurprisingly devoured COVID content in 2020, this year they mostly steered clear and returned to ravenously reading stories about new business openings, business closings, a few white-collar scandals, notable commercial developments, and some untimely deaths.

One of our most popular annual IB features — our 40 Under 40 — is usually bolstered by a well-attended networking event with the new class, but since that event had to be canceled in early 2021, video interviews with the class were among our most popular videos/photo galleries of the year.

On the eve of a brand-new year and all its possibilities, we look back at our top feature articles, photo galleries and videos, Business Report stories, and columns by page views at

Top feature stories

  1. Picture a deserted downtown: State Street special report, part 1
  2. A&W plans to add 20 Madison-area restaurants
  3. ‘Loneliness epidemic’ hits Gen Z hardest: 1 in 4 are lonely at work
  4. Revival and relapse: State Street special report, part 2
  5. Executive of the Year, Large Company Executive of the Year: Damond Boatwright, Wisconsin regional president, SSM Health
  6. 40 Under 40: Charging ahead
  7. What’s the future of the office dress code?
  8. New Milio’s owner talks change
  9. Madison entrepreneur takes to TV to save the world
  10. Latest hiring trend might be making recruitment even harder

Top videos and photo galleries

  1. 2021 40 Under 40 (Part 3 of 8)
  2. 2021 40 Under 40 (Part 4 of 8)
  3. 2021 40 Under 40 (Part 5 of 8)
  4. 2021 40 Under 40 (Part 6 of 8)
  5. 2021 40 Under 40 (Part 8 of 8)
  6. 2021 40 Under 40 (Part 7 of 8)
  7. 2021 40 Under 40 (Part 1 of 8)
  8. 2021 40 Under 40 (Part 2 of 8)
  9. 40 Under 40 Reunion
  10. Belleville Library and Community Center construction complete

Top Business Report stories

  1. Longtime State Street shop plans move
  2. Supper club gets new owners
  3. Madison businessman Mike Liautaud dead at 61
  4. Sun Prairie business owner indicted for non-payment of payroll taxes
  5. New BBQ to open on Madison’s west side
  6. Madison businessman’s daughter killed
  7. Sun Prairie glass fabricator to close, laying off 82
  8. Madison coffee shop leads in health department violations
  9. Developer solidifies $100 million State Street project
  10. Milio’s under new ownership

Most-read columns

  1. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans: Round 2 update
  2. Why we like State Street, why we fear it at times
  3. The paradox of the current job market
  4. The marketer’s gambit: How chess rules can help your marketing strategy
  5. Why steamy office romances heat everyone up and threaten value
  6. Educational diversity is a key element of a strong organization
  7. Harry and Meghan expose an ugly truth about family businesses
  8. Where have all the people gone? The ‘Great Sansdemic’ is upon us!
  9. 3 reasons the remote work trend is here to stay
  10. Do men and women build wealth differently?

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