New WEDC grants target small businesses with COVID-19 relief
Deadline is Nov. 2 to tap into $50 million in available grant funds
State will provide $50 million more to assist businesses still facing impacts of COVID-19 Applications opened Monday for the second round of “We’re All In” small business grants, which will distribute an additional $50 million to small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program aims to provide 10,000 businesses around the state with $5,000 grants that can be used for any purpose.
The first phase of the program provided more than $65 million in grants to over 26,000 businesses statewide this summer. Despite the infusion of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds distributed by WEDC, however, many Wisconsin small businesses continue to struggle.
“With the increase in COVID-19 cases and the uncertainty it has created, many of Wisconsin’s small businesses tell us they’re already stretched to the limit and are concerned what the next few months will hold,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “As we did with the first round of We’re All In Grants, we want to provide aid that can help these businesses carry on.”
Applications for the grants opened at 8 a.m. this morning, and will close at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2. As with the previous round of We’re All In Grants, awards will not be made on a first-come, first-served basis.
The grants are available to all eligible small businesses, including those that have previously received the first round of We’re All In Grants from WEDC. Priority will be given to businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, such as restaurants and taverns, hair and nail salons and barber shops, and other services.
The grants will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in partnership with WEDC. Learn more about the program and apply at revenue. wi.gov.
To be eligible for the second round of We’re All In Grants, an applicant must:
• be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business;
• in 2019, have had 75% or more of company labor costs in Wisconsin and 75% of their assets in Wisconsin;
• earn more than $0 and less than $1 million in annual revenues (gross sales and receipts);
• have started operating prior to Jan. 1, 2020 (seasonal businesses should use the highest total FTEs employed during the season); and
• have filed their 2019 taxes.
For this round, applicants will not be required to obtain a letter of support from a local business group and will not have to submit tax information. This phase of We’re All In Grants will be administered by the Department of Revenue in partnership with WEDC.
Before applying for a grant, applicants should familiarize themselves with the eligibility requirements and limitations as well as the information and documentation required to apply. This information, along with the grant application, can be found at revenue.wi.gov. If you cannot apply online, you may request assistance by calling the Wisconsin Department of Revenue at 608-266-2772.
The second round of We’re All In Grants is the latest effort by WEDC to assist small businesses in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. WEDC distributed more than $65 million in CARES Act funding to nearly 26,000 businesses under the first round of We’re All In Grants this summer. Additionally, WEDC provided $2 million in state funds to diverse businesses under the Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant initiative and $5 million to microbusinesses through the Small Business 20/20 Program.