$2,000 grants available to ethnically diverse microbusinesses

MADISON, WI. May 22, 2020—The application deadline for the Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant (EMEG) initiative has been extended by two days to give ethnically diverse microbusinesses more time to apply for the $2,000 grants, officials from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced today.

Applications for the grants will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26. The previous deadline was the evening of Sunday, May 24.

“Given the interest in and importance of this program as well as the holiday weekend, we are giving eligible businesses a little more time to apply for assistance,” said Sam Rikkers, WEDC deputy secretary and chief operating officer.

Under the EMEG initiative, 1,000 ethnically diverse micro-businesses that have suffered losses due to the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to receive grants of $2,000 each. The $2 million initiative is focused on aiding businesses that have not received U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program or state disaster relief.

Businesses may apply if they:

  • are for-profit, Wisconsin-based and at least 51% minority-owned;
  • started operating prior to Jan.1, and were operating as of Feb. 29 this year;
  • have no more than five (5) full-time equivalent employees, including the owner (sole proprietorships are also eligible);
  • operate in the retail, service or hospitality industries; and
  • have not received any federal assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, or state aid through the Small Business 20/20 Program.

Rikkers added that businesses that receive EMEG assistance will also be eligible for the We’re All In Grants announced by Governor Tony Evers earlier this week. Those grants, which will open in June, provide $2,500 in cash assistance to small businesses with up to 20 employees.

The Ethnic Minority Emergency Grants are marketed and administered in collaboration with Wisconsin’s 19 ethnic and diverse chambers of commerce, regional economic development organizations and other partners across the state.

WEDC will provide funding for the initiative. More information about the program can be found on the WEDC website.