Small businesses nationwide have been hit hard by mandatory closures and safety measures required to slow the spread of COVID-19. While many have turned to federal relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program, a growing number of state and local programs may also help. Below is a list of some of these opportunities in the state of Wisconsin, focusing on the markets we serve.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s ‘We’re All In’ Grant
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers recently announced $75 million in assistance for small businesses as part of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s "We’re All In" Initiative. This program works as a comprehensive effort to celebrate and help Wisconsin’s small businesses get back on their feet and support best practices to keep businesses, consumers, employees and communities safe.
Primarily funded by federal dollars received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this initiative will provide direct assistance to small businesses most impacted by the duration and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. These $2,500 cash grants will assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. Businesses will be able to apply for grant assistance in early June.
Wisconsin small businesses have stepped up during this pandemic to keep people safe, and many have pivoted to producing needed items such as hand sanitizer and face coverings. Providing relief to small businesses in Wisconsin that have been impacted by the pandemic is an important part of the response to and recovery from the pandemic.
More details about the program will be available later this month, with businesses able to apply for grant assistance in June. Learn more
Fox Valley Area
The Calumet County Small Business Disaster Response Loan Program is available to provide immediate small business loans to businesses within Calumet County who are impacted by COVID-19. Loans may be used for working capital to support payroll and utility expenses, rent and mortgage payments, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business that is necessary as a result of the pandemic. Applicants are encouraged to also work with landlords and mortgage institutions to arrange rent reductions and/or payment deferrals. Learn more
The COVID-19 Business Assistance Loan Program is a collaboration between Outagamie County and the Fox Cities Regional Partnership (the economic development division of the Fox Cities Chamber). The loan program was created by repurposing an existing revolving loan fund as a resource for Outagamie County businesses experiencing unanticipated financial pressures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses may consider applying for this loan as they plan to re-open and need to purchase additional materials to adapt their space to provide protection to their employees and customers. Applications are being reviewed regularly by the Outagamie County loan committee. Learn more
The Winnebago County COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program is a collaboration between the Fox Cities Regional Partnership (the economic development division of the Fox Cities Chamber), Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation. This loan program is available to small business applicants due to the support of the Winnebago County Industrial Development Board, which is utilizing a portion of the Winnebago County Revolving Loan Fund for this purpose. Loans support basic business needs, including rent/mortgage payments, utility payments, payroll expenses, and pre-existing purchase orders. Loan applications should be submitted by Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. Learn more
Green Bay Area
Greater Green Bay Back to Business Grant
Small and medium-size companies whose operations have been significantly impacted as a result of COVID-19 may need help getting back up and running. With this goal, the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce has created a short-term Greater Green Bay Back to Business Grant fund. The funds will be awarded to Brown County businesses with fewer than (50) FTE employees, with a priority to those that have frequent and close contact with customers. Non-profit organizations and businesses that have received the PPP or EIDL are not eligible. Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $10,000.
Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau All Together Grant
The Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working with Badger State Brewery and Noble Roots Brewery to create a NEW Grant opportunity called the All Together Grant. This grant is available for those businesses who are part of the tourism and hospitality sector in Brown County; have between 1-25 full-time employees (not including per diem and part time staff); and have been open for one full year prior to Emergency Order #12: Safer at Home Order issued on March 24, 2020. The deadline for this Grant is June 26th at 5 p.m. The number of grants will vary based upon availability of funds. Learn more
The De Pere Area Chamber of Commerce, with support from the City of De Pere, recently announced a COVID-19 Business Transition Grant. The new grant program will assist small businesses located within De Pere as they move into re-opening and begin the stages of recovering from the statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses. Eligible applicants must own and operate a local business within the City of De Pere. Full-time equivalent employees may not exceed 25. Businesses within the Main Street District are eligible; however, they are only eligible for a grant up to $2,500, which includes any funds they may have received through Definitely De Pere’s COVID-19 Business Relief Grant Fund. Businesses may not exceed a grant of $2,500 between the two programs. Applications must be received by no later than Friday, May 29, 2020 to be considered. The maximum grant request is $2,500.
The Manitowoc/Two Rivers Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund (the "Relief Fund") is a public-private grant program through the City of Manitowoc's funding efforts, City of Two Rivers, Bank First and Investors Community Bank, and in partnership with The Chamber of Manitowoc County. It has been designed to benefit locally owned and operated small businesses directly impacted by restrictions imposed on operations during the pandemic of 2020. Chamber membership is not a requirement. The Relief Fund will provide discretionary funds of up to $2,500 for those employing 1 to 4 FTE and up to $5,000 with 5-10 FTE in operation prior to March 1, 2020. Funding will be based on the total of three month (Jan-March) utilities/rent/mortgage payments.
Sheboygan’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Fund is an economic development activity funded with the City’s Community Development Block Grant-CV funding received as part of the CARES Act. The Emergency Assistance Fund targets Sheboygan businesses with five (5) or fewer employees as defined by HUD’s microenterprise definition and addresses disparities in minority lending and business ownership in Sheboygan. his new program is only being offered to the City of Sheboygan small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City would like to express the gratitude of small businesses in the community and hopes to provide an opportunity to bridge the gaps during these difficult times. Learn more
Stevens Point Area
CAP Services (Portage County)
CAP Services recognizes the impact that COVID-19 has had on the community and heard the concerns of small businesses as they look to re-open soon. To assist small businesses during this time, CAP has rolled out new loan options for small businesses impacted by COVID. They are focusing on companies in need of capital to support vital operations of their business during the Safer-At-Home order, and to help them power up again after restrictions have been lifted. These businesses may need funds to cover the cost of supplies, marketing, payroll, utilities and other operating costs and CAP Services is here to help. CAP is offering micro-loans for businesses needing $1,000 to $50,000 to help them get through the initial phase of the recovery process. Businesses can apply for a line of credit up to $10,000 or Term loan up to $50,000, certain eligibility and rules will apply. Interest rates on lines of credit start at 8%, whereas interest rates on term loans can be as low as 5%. Repayment is flexible and includes up to 6 months of interest-only payments. Learn more
Do you know of any other COVID-related grant or loan programs we missed in our markets? Drop us a line and we will add it to our blog: firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your business banker if you have questions about available loan and grant programs. We're here to help!