WE’RE ALL IN SMALL BUSINESS GRANT: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The We’re All In Small Business Grant program is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet as they re-emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and Safer at Home, while also encouraging adoption of best practices to keep employees, customers and communities safe.

Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the We’re All In Small Business Grant will provide $2,500 to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.

GRANT ELIGIBLITY

A business may apply if it fits the following criteria:

  • The business is Wisconsin-based and for profit;
  • The business employs 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner; (Seasonal businesses should use the highest total FTEs employed during the season.)
  • The business has greater than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues (gross sales and receipts); and
  • The business started operating prior to Jan. 1, 2020, and was operating as of Feb. 2020.

Yes. The following eligibility limitations also apply to the We’re All In Small Business Grant:

Yes. A seasonal enterprise is considered to be in business in February 2020, even if not yet open for the season.

Yes. Sole proprietor are eligible to apply.

APPLICATION

The online grant application will be accessible for one week from 8 a.m. Monday, June 15, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, June 23. A link to the application will be posted on this page. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will make clear on this webpage and through all of its communications channels when the application period begins and ends. Businesses interested in receiving notifications about funding and other pandemic recovery resources from WEDC can subscribe to receive regular alerts.

The application can only be completed online as much of the background checking is automated.

Only the following browsers are supported:

  • Microsoft Edge – Latest
  • Google Chrome – Latest
  • Mozilla Firefox – Latest
  • Apple Safari – Latest
  • iPad – Safari 12.0 or later
  • PDF
  • JPEG
  • Everything except executables

You can submit a total of 2 GB. Most documents in PDF form are much smaller than this.

No, please do not put your bank account information on the W9 form. The W9 form states that field is optional.

One full-time equivalent (FTE) is one or more employees working a total of 40 hours per week. For example, if you have two employees each working 20 hours per week, then you have one FTE.

Yes, you will receive an email. The email will come to you from noreply@salesforce.com. Be sure to check your Junk Mail folder in case your system flags this as spam. View sample email here.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

You will need the following documents to apply:

  • 2018 or 2019 federal tax return for business (If you started your business in 2020, you are not eligible for this grant). Applicable tax returns are:
    • IRS form 1065 Partnership Return (no K-1s required)
    • IRS form 1120 Corporation Return (no schedules required)
    • IRS form 1120S S Corporation Return (no K-1s required)
    • IRS form 1040 (sole proprietors), first two pages and the Schedule C
  • Signed and dated W-9 form available at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf
  • A letter or email of acknowledgement from a community organization indicating your business was in operation in February 2020. The letter or email can be from any of the following:
    • Chamber of commerce
    • Main Street or Connect Communities organization
    • Local business improvement district
    • Neighborhood economic development association
    • Local economic development organization
    • County economic development organization
    • Municipality, including tribal government
    • County
    • Local bank, credit union or Community Development Financial Institution
    • Regional UW Small Business Development Center
    • US Export Assistance Center – Wisconsin
    • Regional Economic Development Organization
    • Regional Planning Commission
    • Trade Association

A sample letter of acknowledgement can be found here.

You will also need to provide the three-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that best matches your business. This information may be included in your tax return. Alternatively, you can find it by typing the business description into the search box here.

Note that the online application for the We’re All In grant program will have a drop-down list from which to select your industry by three-digit NAICS and description. For example, if your company provides Janitorial Services (561720), you would choose number 561 for Office Administrative Services. Download a list of NAICS codes that you will be able to choose from in the grant application.

Please pay close attention to this step, as application scoring will take industry type into account.

POST APPLICATION

Grant funds can be used for any operating costs, including but not limited to wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory; and/or for health and safety improvements.
Yes. The grant is considered income for tax purposes.
After the application period has closed, applications will be reviewed for eligibility and will be scored, ranked and awarded based on industries with the greatest negative impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community distress and geographic dispersion. The scoring will also consider whether the business has received assistance through WEDC’s SB20/20 program or Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant initiative, or through the U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program or Payroll Protection Program.
Upon approval, you will be provided a contract to e-sign (by email from DocuSign) that attests to the truth and accuracy of your application information.

You also must complete a follow-up report indicating how the grant was used. This report must be completed by October 31, 2020.

Additionally, you may later be selected randomly for a review of your grant expenditures, so it is important to save receipts or evidence that show how the grant was spent. State law requires you to maintain these records for three years.

WEDC has reviewed the applications that came in within the application time period and has identified some simple errors. WEDC would like to provide applicants with an opportunity to submit a corrected application so minor errors don’t prevent them from accessing the important grant dollars of the We’re All In Small Business Grant Program.

The email you received identifies the errors found in your application. Please review the errors carefully, make sure you have the right information to make the needed corrections, and then reapply through the link provided in the notification email.

You will have 10 days following receipt of this email to re-apply. If you have questions about reapplying, please call WEDC at 608.210.6700 for assistance.

Applicants will receive an email from WEDC [noreply@salesforce.com] notifying them that they have been awarded the grant and detailing the next steps. The key next step is that you will receive a contract from Docusign for your signature and to enter your banking information so grant funds can be distributed to you.  

Initial awards are scheduled to begin in late June, and all award notifications are expected to be made by the end of July.

Grants will only be distributed after the application period closes on June 23 at 11:59 p.m. You will receive an email from our third-party payment provider. Follow the directions in the email to access the registration portal for the third-party payment provider. On the portal, tell the provider how you want the funds sent to you or where you want the funds deposited. WEDC will transfer funds to the third-party payment provider, who will send the funds to you. You should have your funds within three business days.

If you are a sole proprietor, you will be asked to select your payment preference. You have two choices for payment:

  • ACH (bank-to-bank transfer into your bank account)
  • A paper check, which will take two to three weeks to receive

ACH stands for “automated clearing house,” and it is the electronic network for financial institutions in the United States for financial transactions.  Simply put, it is a money transfer to your bank (and into your bank account) from another bank.

You will need to provide WEDC with your routing number and your bank account number in a secure portal during the contracting phase. Your bank’s nine-digit routing number can be found on the bottom of your checks, or you can contact your bank for this information.

If you have a problem, please call WEDC at 608.210.6700.

If you received a denial letter, it was for one of the following reasons:

The goal of WEDC’s We’re All In Small Business Grant is twofold. The program aims to help Wisconsin’s small businesses get back on their feet while also encouraging adoption of best practices to build confidence in reopening Wisconsin’s economy. Grant recipients will become We’re All In businesses by pledging to observe health safety best practices in their facilities to protect employees, customers and the communities in which they operate. Industry-specific safety guidelines can be found at wedc.org/reopen-guidelines. WEDC is encouraging all businesses, large and small, to adopt behaviors that maximize safety and balance health and livelihoods. We’re all in this together to be healthy and safe.

For More Information

WEDC representatives stand ready to provide guidance to small business owners whose questions are not addressed in these FAQs. To reach a WEDC representative, call 608.210.6700. As we are anticipating heavy call volumes, your patience is appreciated. You can also submit questions to us electronically by clicking the “Contact Us” button below.

CONTACT US