COVID-19 Relief Grants

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. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’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.

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.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • Be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business;
  • Employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner;
  • 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.)

APPLICATION PERIOD

The online grant application will be accessible for one week from 8 a.m. Monday, June 15, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 21

BE PREPARED

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) and the following:
      • Schedule C, Profit and Loss from Business
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
    • County
    • 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
Sample text for a letter or email can be downloaded here (file will be saved to your downloads folder automatically). An electronic letter submitted to you via email is acceptable.

 

HAVE QUESTIONS?

If you have questions regarding the "We’re All In Small Business Grant", please review this page of frequently asked questions.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) representatives stand ready to provide guidance to small business owners. To reach a WEDC representative, call 608.210.6700.

For further information, visit WEDC’s website: https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/wai-small-business-grant/