An additional $100 million in grants is being made available to small businesses in Wisconsin.
Governor Tony Evers made the announcement earlier this week. The money comes from the CARES Act.
The Governor announced the funding availability the same day he announced new restrictions for businesses.
Places like restaurants, bars, and movie theaters are now under public health orders to limit crowds to 25-percent of a room or buildings capacity.
Missy Hughes is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO and Secretary. She knows how are hard this can be for small businesses, but also acknowledges that the economy can’t thrive if people are sick.
“As we’re seeing the surges in Wisconsin, I’m very, very concerned that this is going to set us back on any kind of recovery that we have started. As much as your listeners can help us stave off the threat of this disease by doing the right thing of social distancing, wearing masks and staying home if you’re sick we’ll be able to really move on towards recover,” said Hughes.
$50 million of the new funds will go toward “We’re all In” grants. $5,000 grants will be made available to more than 10,000 small businesses in the state.
Businesses can start applying for it on October 19th. It’s needs based, not first come, first serve so businesses don’t need to rush their application.
Hughes said that money can go toward whatever needs a business has.
“My attitude and the Governor’s attitude is the businesses know best what they need, so whether it’s rent or PPE or paying employees. This is on the businesses to decide how to spend their money.”
The other $50 million will go toward some of the hardest industries in the state.
“We’ve got 20 million dollars for the lodging industry in Wisconsin, which obviously with people not traveling as much, the lodging industry has really struggled. We’ve got $15 million for live music and performance venues who just haven’t been able to come back anywhere near full or at all for that matter,” said Hughes.
There is also money available for privately owned movie theaters.
Businesses will need to apply through the WEDC.