PANDEMIC RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN WISCONSIN
Small businesses in Wisconsin often operate on razor-thin profit margins and hold very little cash in reserve, which makes weathering the effects of a global pandemic particularly challenging. Complicating matters for these small businesses seeking federal or other financial assistance is that they often lack the financial relationships required, or are otherwise ineligible, to qualify for these programs. WEDC’s We’re All In Small Business Grant is designed to help these small businesses get back on their feet while also encouraging adoption of best practices to keep employees, customers and communities safe.
A basic program description and overview of eligibility criteria appear below. Find more information on the frequently asked questions page.
HOW IT WORKS
Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the We’re All In Small Business Grant Program will provide $2,500 grants 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.
To be eligible, businesses must:
- be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business;
- employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner; (Seasonal businesses should use the highest total FTEs employed during the season.)
- earn greater than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues (gross sales and receipts); and
- have started operating prior to Jan. 1, 2020, and have been in business as of Feb. 2020. (Seasonal businesses should use the highest total FTEs employed during the season.)
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.
Applicants are encouraged to prepare for the one-week application period by gathering the following required documents:
- 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 W-9 and dated 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
- Local bank, credit union or community development financial institution
- Regional UW Small Business Development Center
- U.S. Export Assistance Center – Wisconsin
- Regional economic development organization
- Regional Planning Commission
- Trade association
If you do not have an existing relationship with any of the above organizations, you are encouraged to contact the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center for assistance.
A sample letter of acknowledgement can be found here.
If you have questions regarding the We’re All In Small Business Grant, please review this page of frequently asked questions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
WEDC representatives stand ready to provide guidance to small business owners whose questions are not addressed in the 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.