Gov. Tony Evers has announced a $75 million 'We're All In' initiative to spur Wisconsin's economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The grant program is part of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's efforts to help Wisconsin small businesses get back on their feet, while keeping them safe in the process.
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The $75 million is largely funded by money acquired by the state through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security (CARES) Act. Cash grants of $2,500 will be distributed to help businesses improve safety measures, as well as pay wages, rent, inventory and more. Businesses will be able to apply for these grants in early June.
“Wisconsinites have done an incredible job of banding together throughout this crisis and it’s more important than ever for us to continue respecting each other, supporting each other, holding each other accountable and protecting those who are vulnerable,” Gov. Evers said. “We are still encouraging people to stay home as much as possible, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and take protective measures like wearing a mask in public, but as more businesses continue to reopen around the state, we need to go all in on doing this together.”
Businesses who receive grants will become 'We're All In' businesses by committing to safety protocols outlined in the initiative.
'We're All In' includes:
Grants in the amount of $2,500 to small businesses with 20 or fewer FTEs impacted by COVID-19 that have not already received WEDC COVID-19 assistance. Up to thirty thousand businesses may receive grants. More details about the program will be available later this month with businesses able to apply for grant assistance in June.
A series of guides for businesses looking to implement best practices to keep employees, customers, and communities safe throughout the COVID-19 crisis. These guides are an essential part of the We’re All In program and were developed in consultation with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Department of Safety and Professional Services, as well as industry leaders and public health experts throughout the state. They are found on WEDC’s website at https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines [lnks.gd].
Ethnic Minority Emergency Grants, which provide $2 million in grants for ethnically diverse Wisconsin micro-businesses who suffered losses due to the pandemic. The grants are aimed at sole proprietorships or businesses with five or fewer employees that have not received assistance under either SB 20/20 program or SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. One thousand grants of $2,000 each will be administered in partnership with Wisconsin’s 19 ethnic and minority chambers of commerce. More details are available at https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/minority-business-development/ [lnks.gd].
An integrated public information campaign promoting We’re All In businesses and social practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and celebrate Wisconsin’s diverse and strong economy.