The State of Wisconsin has decided to open a very brief window for local small businesses to apply for a $2,500 emergency support grant. The program will provide these grants to 30,000 small businesses and is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while also encouraging them to adopt best practices to keep employees, customers, and communities safe.
Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the grants will help small businesses with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages, salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. A description of the program including a checklist of required application documents can be found here.
The We’re All In Small Business grant application portal opens Monday, June 15th at 8:00 a.m. and is scheduled to close on Tuesday, June 23rd at 11:59 p.m. The application will be live on WEDC’s website on Monday, June 15th via this link.
Please find a summary here of the key aspects of the program:
A business may apply for the We’re All In Small Business grant if it:
- Was in business in February 2020. Businesses that started in 2020 are not eligible;
- Is Wisconsin-based and for-profit;
- Employs 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner; and
- Has more than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues.
A business will not be eligible for the grants if it is:
- Part of a national chain, unless the business is a third-party franchise;
- Industries covered by other Wisconsin CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund programs are ineligible for this program. These are:
- Crop Production
- Animal Production or Aquaculture
- Lessors of Residential Buildings and Dwellings (https://doa.wi.gov/Pages/LocalGovtsGrants/COVID-Grants.aspx)
To prepare for the online application process, businesses should be ready to upload the following documents to the WEDC application:
- 2019 federal tax return for business. A 2018 tax return is acceptable, if you have not file your 2019 returns (If you started your business in 2020, you are not eligible for this grant.)
- Signed W-9 form available at irs.gov
- An email or letter of acknowledgement from a community organization indicating your business was in operation in February 2020. A template for the letter is attached. Letters or emails 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 https://wisconsinsbdc.org/services/covid-19/
- U.S Export Assistance Center – Wisconsin
- Regional economic development organization
- Regional Planning Commission
- Trade association
Your business will need to identify the Three-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that best fits their business: This information may be included in a business’s tax return, or through the NAICS website.