COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES

COVID-19 BUSINESS INSIGHTS AND RELIEF INFORMATION

The COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges to all types of Wisconsin businesses whose operations are impacted by disruptions to their supply chains, withering demand for their products and worker unavailability resulting from sustained social distancing.

This page is designed to provide the latest, best information to our clients and the citizens of Wisconsin on resources aimed at maintaining the vitality of the companies upon which our economy depends. As the volume of inquiries through our phone lines and website prevents us from responding individually to people as we would like, we invite you to visit this page regularly. We plan to update this directory as new information and resources become available.

Included on this page are resources available to Wisconsin businesses from WEDC and other local, state and federal agencies.

Small business owners are encouraged to work with their lenders to address the financial challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19.

FEATURED RESOURCES

WE’RE ALL IN BUSINESS SIGNS
Downloadable and customizable signs to promote safe business practices and help speed up economic recovery.

COVID-19 RECOVERY EVENTS
A calendar of events dedicated to helping businesses respond and recover from the pandemic. Attend online and learn, or add your event.

GUIDELINES FOR REOPENING YOUR BUSINESS SAFELY
Industry-specific documents to help you get back to business while taking the necessary precautions to maximize safety.

REACH OUT FOR HELP
We’re here to help you navigate the complexity of COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.

Focus Forward

Focus Forward provides tools, information and inspiration related to business, community and personal resilience. It’s a place to communicate and connect regularly, where you’ll find information on financial and operational assistance programs from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and other state and federal partners that will prepare you for economic recovery.

Reopen Guidelines

With input from national and state health and industry experts and in partnership with state agency and regional economic development organizations, WEDC has compiled a series of guidelines to help you get back to business while adopting best practices to mitigate health risks.

Strategies for Small Businesses to Navigate COVID-19 Challenges

Downtown District and Business Coronavirus Response: Ideas and Resources. Also in español and Hmong.

Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant

The Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant initiative will award grants of $2,000 per company to ethnic minority-owned businesses with five or fewer full-time equivalent employees (including the owner) in the retail, service or hospitality sectors that have not received assistance through the Small Business 20/20 Program or the federal CARES Act and/or Paycheck Protection Program.

This one-time, temporary initiative will accept applications from May 18-26, 2020. Companies that meet the program criteria can apply through one of Wisconsin’s Collective Ethnic and Diverse Organizations during the application window. If the applications received exceed the funds available, companies will be selected at random from the pool of pre-qualified applicants that meet all program criteria. Learn more about the grant here.

We’re All In Small Business Grant – Phase 2

We’re All In Small Business Grant – Phase 2 makes CARES Act funding available to Wisconsin small businesses that were unable to apply for Phase 1 of the program. And, it makes additional funds available to companies that were awarded Phase 1 grants. Phase 2 grants of $5,000 will be awarded based upon the business’s annual revenue. Businesses with more than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues (gross receipts less returns and allowances) 1-50 full-time equivalent employees in 2019 are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to businesses that did not receive a grant from WEDC in Phase 1, have ethnic minority ownership, and are in an industry with the greatest negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted from 8 a.m., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, to 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 2, 2020.

We’re All Innovating Contest

Wisconsin businesses of all sizes and in all industries are demonstrating resilience, ingenuity and compassion—all traits our state is well known for—in their response to COVID-19. WEDC is recognizing and rewarding these companies with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding through the We’re All Innovating Contest, administered in partnership with the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Coronavirus Information for Partners

Answers to frequently asked questions by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

COVID-19: How we can help businesses

The Small Business Development Center-Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship has created a page with important information for its clients amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is providing immediate help for small businesses on sales taxes and taking other steps to help taxpayers in response to COVID-19.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance

The Wisconsin SBDC, a resource partner of the SBA, has created a web page to help business owners understand the qualifications and application process for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Consultants across the network’s 13 locations are working remotely via phone, email and virtual tools to assist clients.

Wisconsin Farm Support Program

The Wisconsin Farm Support Program, administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, is a federally funded program that will provide $50 million of relief to farmers that suffered economic damages in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual payments will range from $1,000-$3,500. Wisconsin farmers with gross income between $35,000 and $5,000,000 in 2019 may be eligible to receive a payment. The application period for this funding runs from June 15 through June 29.

U.S. Economic Development Administration CARES Act Recovery Assistance

The U.S. Economic Development Administration CARES Act Recovery Assistance provides a wide-range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

U.S. Small Business Administration

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak. With additional funding available, applications for Paycheck Protection Program funding will resume on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. CDT. View a list of lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by state as of April 23, 2020.

The Wisconsin Small Business Development (SBDC) Network and its partners are helping small businesses apply for federal disaster loans to mitigate the substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Wisconsin SBDC, a resource partner of the SBA, has created a web page to help business owners understand the qualifications and application process. Consultants across the network’s 13 locations are working remotely via phone, email and virtual tools to assist clients. The Wisconsin SBA and its other SBA resource partners— including WWBIC, Western Wisconsin Women’s Business Center, SCORE, and Veterans Business Outreach Center—are also working to assist their clients.

SBA offices will also offer daily webinars to answer questions—register here:

For assistance, contact the SBA’s helpline at 800-659-2955 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET seven days a week or by email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Website: www.sba.gov/disaster.

Coronavirus Tax Relief

The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.

Coronavirus Resources

The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus (also known as novel coronavirus).

Coronavirus: Resources, Updates, and What You Should Know

The U.S. Treasury Department is supporting American workers and businesses who are impacted by the coronavirus.

Defense Production Act

In response to the COVID-19 global crisis, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is seeking to strengthen and restore domestic industrial base capabilities through the Defense Production Act (DPA). Projects eligible for a DFC-DPA Loan are those that create, maintain, protect, expand or restore domestic industrial base capabilities supporting: The national response and recover to the COVID-19 outbreak; or The resiliency of any relevant domestic supply chains.

Export Import Bank of the United States (EXIM)

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has announced a series of initiatives to inject liquidity into the market and give maximum financing flexibility to facilitate sales of U.S. goods and services abroad.

Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve established the Main Street Lending Program to enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis by offering 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Brew City Match

Brew City Match has developed two tools to ease the financial burden for small business owners:

  • The Brew City Match COVID-19 Small Business Grant that provides up to $1,200 to assist small businesses with rent and payroll support.
  • The Brew City Match COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Loan Fund that provides zero interest loans to small businesses to assist with rent, payroll, and additional business expenses.

Coronavirus Resources for Municipalities

The Wisconsin League of Municipalities’ COVID-19 page contains information that will help you navigate the pandemic.

Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Emergency Loan Fund

The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC) has announced a new Emergency Loan Fund (COVID-19) in response to the negative impact that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the Wisconsin business community. These funds are primarily used for working capital to cover rent, payroll, and other fixed expenses. This loan fund is similar to HWCC’s existing Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Small Loan programs but with a slightly lower rate and an interest-only option for the first 3 months. Loans from $5,000 and up to $10,000. For more information about terms and interest rates, please contact HWCC Operations Manager, Ger Thao: ger@hmongchamber.org.

Wisconsin Emergency Response Program

gener8tor is hosting emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs will feature daily webinars designed to identify, understand and help small businesses secure resources to withstand the current crisis. One-on-one office hours will also be available.

Kiva Loans

Kiva has expanded small business lending on its online platform to include a larger list of eligible businesses, the possibility for larger loans, and a grace period for repayment.  Learn more here (or visit the dedicated pages for applicants in Milwaukee or applicants in Madison).

Small business owners affiliated with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, and the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce can contact these chambers directly for assistance.

LISC Small Business Relief Grants

Thanks to support from funders like Verizon and Sam’s Club, LISC is providing grants to small businesses to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period.

The Red Backpack Fund

GlobalGiving will be making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance

The following organizations stand ready to help their clients apply for this federal aid:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Save Small Business Fund

The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories.

West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission funds for a new CARES Act Recovery Assistance Revolving Loan Fund for counties served by the Commission.

Wisconsin Humanities Council

The Wisconsin Humanities Council is providing rapid-response funding to nonprofit humanities and cultural organizations that are facing financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

WWBIC Classes

WWBIC has moved all its business and financial educational programming on-line and on-demand.

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