COVID-19 Business Assistance Resources


Gov. Tony Evers announced today that small retailers can now reopen, the latest relaxation of his stay-at-home order dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The new order allows all standalone or strip-mall retail stores to offer in-person shopping, but with a limit of five customers in the store at a time. The new order, which goes into effect immediately, also allows drive-in movie theaters to open. See the release:…/gov-evers-announces-another-…/

Business Re-Opening Toolkit

Public Health Madison and Dane County has created a Business Re-Opening Toolkit to assist businesses that may be re-opening to curbside pickup starting on April 24, 2020, under the new Emergency Order #28 Safer at Home Orders. Follow the links to view these documents. 

Business Re-Opening Guidelines and Resources 

With input from national and state health and industry experts and in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and our regional economic development partners, WEDC has compiled a series of industry-specific documents to help you get back to business while taking the necessary precautions to maximize safety. Following these guidelines will help us all get Wisconsin’s economy back on track. You can view these documents via the link below:

WEDC Business Reopening Guidelines

Restaurant Re-Opening Resources

WRA has developed information and resources to help restaurants think through some important issues and have useful tools on-hand to be prepared when it is possible to reopen. In partnership with the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and health officials across the State, restaurant owners and operators can make commitments to earn the Wisconsin Restaurant Promise endorsement during the COVID-19 recovery period. When customers see this endorsement, they can be certain that the restaurant is taking all necessary steps to protect their employees & customers and is committed to playing a leadership role in protecting their communities.

Learn more about the WI Restaurant Promise here:

WEDC - We’re All In Small Business Grant

The We’re All In small business grant application portal opens Monday, June 15th at 8:00am and is scheduled to close on June 23rd at 11:59pm.  The application will be live on WEDC’s website on Monday, June 15 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.

Businesses will not be eligible for the grants if they are:

  • 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 (

Please review the We’re All In Checklist to prepare for the online application process and the documents that will need to be submitted.

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: We are attaching a list of the NAICS codes that will be available to select from on the application (in drop down box).

USDA Federal Rural Communities Resource Guide

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource guide is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.

Rural Communities COVID-19 Resource Guide

Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program - May 20, 2020

Gov. Tony Evers today announced the launch of a $25 million Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program for Wisconsinites who have experienced income loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Administered by the Department of Administration (DOA), the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program will provide direct financial assistance for owed rent, security deposits and wrap-around services for program-eligible individuals.

Eligible applicants must be an adult Wisconsin resident with a household income at or below 80% of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date. Once approved, eligible individuals may receive assistance of up to $3,000 in a combination of rental payments and/or security deposits. These payments will be paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant. More details about the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, including complete eligibility criteria, application documentation requirements and the distribution process for the rental assistance, will be shared in the upcoming days. Initial details regarding the program are available here.

Debt Relief Video Series: Preparing Your Business for Recovery

With initial rounds of federal stimulus programs in high demand and oversubscribed, WEDA is working to ensure businesses have the most recent information on existing financial tools – many of which have also been enhanced to meet the long-term cash flow needs of businesses during the COVID-19 economic recovery.

Earlier this week, WEDA held a COVID-19 webinar (Preparing Your Business for Recovery) to help our members and the business community gain a better understanding on how to prepare in these uncertain times and how existing financial programs may help fill long-term cash flow needs of businesses across the state. The webinar was recorded and divided into the following five 10-minute on-demand videos: 

 The videos can also be found on WEDA’s Road to Recovery web page .

Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce

During COVID Outbreak, Keep our Local Restaurants Busy! This list includes Village of Waunakee establishments, plus those who are outside the Village but members of the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce. If we are missing anyone or updates are needed, please contact Diane Anderson at the Waunakee Chamber office - (608) 849-5977 or  

Restaurant Listings as of 6/11/2020

Below is a link to COVID-19 Resources posted by the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce: 

Public Health Madison and Dane County Information (PHMDC)

Below are links to documents from Public Health Madison and Dane County with information and guidelines for how to handle various business aspects during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Letter to Local Municipality Partners
An Employee at my Business Tested Positive to COVID
Best Practices for Businesses During Pandemic
Best Practices for Pick-up and Delivery

U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Save Small Business Fund

To extend a helping hand to small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – in partnership with Vistaprint and a coalition of supporting companies, foundations, and philanthropic donors – is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund. The Save Small Business Fund is a grant making initiative to offer $5,000 grants that provide short-term relief for employers across the United States and its territories. • A recent poll conducted by the Chamber and MetLife found that more than half of small businesses (54%) have closed at least temporarily or will close in the next two weeks. One in four (24%) are two months or less away from permanently closing. They need resources and relief — and they need it now. That’s why the Save Small Business Fund is providing $5,000 grants to help as many businesses as possible meet their most pressing needs -- from rent, making payroll, or for overall business operations. 

Eligibility and Timeline:

  • The application will go live on 4/20/20 at 12:00 PM PT/3:00 PM ET.
  • Visit for more details and to get an email reminder when the application launches.
  • To qualify, a business must:
    • Employ between 3 and 20 people
    • Be in an economically vulnerable community
    • Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Grants will be distributed on a weekly, rolling basis until all funds have been allocated.

New State Funds for Diverse Small Businesses

In response to the strain placed on small businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, WEDC has funded an initiative to support minority, women and veteran-owned business. This initiative will award grants of $2,000 per company to qualified businesses with five or fewer full-time equivalent employees (including the owner) in the retail, service or hospitality sectors that have not received assistance through the Small Business 20/20 Program or the federal CARES Act and/or Paycheck Protection Program.

This one-time, temporary initiative will accept applications from May 18-24, 2020. Companies that meet the program criteria can apply through one of Wisconsin’s Collective Ethnic and Diverse Organizations during the application window. If the applications received exceed the funds available, companies will be selected at random from the pool of pre-qualified applicants that meet all program criteria.

For more information about this program please visit or read these Frequently Asked Questions.

Assistance for Small Businesses - Application for Forgivable SBA Loans

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

For a top-line overview of the program click here
If you’re a lender, more information can be found here
If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here
The application for borrowers can be found here

Paycheck Protection Program - Update as of 5/18/2020

On April 24, 2020 President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act into law. For small business owners this means that the Paycheck Protection Program will resume.

The SBA will begin accepting PPP applications on Monday, April 27th at 10:30am Eastern Time.

Click here for Information and Application details on the Paycheck Protection Program  

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

Click here to download the Paycheck Protection Forgiveness Loan Forgiveness Instructions and Application.

Small Business Administration Low-Interest Federal Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved Wisconsin’s request for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to access low-interest federal disaster loans. Under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, businesses may qualify for up to $2 million in loans to cover losses resulting from the pandemic. The interest rate on the loans is 3.75% for for-profit businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. Participants may be able to extend payments for up to 30 years. 

For more details please read the following forms: 

SBA Disaster Assistance Handout

How to Request a SBA EIDL Declaration

EIDL Frequently Asked Questions

The disaster loan application portal ( is open to all Wisconsin businesses. A recent press release from Governor Evers provides a great deal of information on the process and the assistance available:

To assist the business community in regards to the loan program, Wisconsin’s SBA office is offering daily webinars to answer your questions:

Non Profit Agency Emergency Funding – Application opens Friday, March 27, 2020

United Way of Dane County and other partners created a new fund for COVID 19 called the Emergency and Recovery Fund for emergency housing and other needs, such as food, child care, and elder needs. They have raised close to one million dollars.

Non-profit agencies can apply for upto $25,000 per agency starting Friday, March 27th. Find out about the fund here, and how to apply. Applications due April 10, 2020. Notification May 4, 2020.

WI Economic Development Commission - COVID Response Report

WEDC’s Errin Welty and the WEDC Downtown Development Team have compiled a document for consideration for small businesses to pivot and thrive during these times. Please Click Here to view this document.

WI COVID-19 Startup Talent

COVID-19 has affected much of the startup community, so this group is quickly gathering resources to help alleviate some of the stress and hardships you may be facing. If you are seeking employment or looking to hire, please add your information via the links below:

Read more

Dane County Small Business Pandemic Support Program - Dane Buy Local - Funding Increased to $10.8 Million

The Dane County Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program, administered by Dane Buy Local, is available for small businesses experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. By creating this grant program, Dane County and Dane Buy Local hope to help local businesses survive the COVID-19 public health crisis, which has caused many to temporarily close their doors. Through this grant program, businesses will be able to apply for funding to help stay afloat and retain employees. We encourage small business owners throughout our community to apply. 

County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Dane County will increase funding for its Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program to $10.8 million following overwhelming community interest. The grant program was announced Wednesday, April 1 and started out at $250,000, before later being increased to $800,000. By adding $10 million to this program, Dane County and Dane Buy Local hope to help many more local businesses survive the COVID-19 public health crisis. Dane Buy Local has awarded agreements to 297 local business totaling over $890,000 thus far. Grant awards will range from $1,000 to $50,000. Click here to fill out the application.

Please see the release below for further information and visit; in addition, please see the story and the video of the press conference here:

With any questions about applying you may call or email Colin Murray at 608-712-3440 or email

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), SB 20/20 Program

In another step toward assisting small businesses that suffer losses related to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is creating a program to provide grants to targeted businesses throughout the state, WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes announced today.

The WEDC Board of Directors on Tuesday approved $5 million in funding for the program, which will be known as Small Business 20/20 (SB20/20). SB20/20 will provide grants of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19).This program makes up to $5M (total) available to selected Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s) to make grants up to $20,000 each to existing loan clients.

Eligible grant recipients include:

  • Current CDFI loan recipients in good standing as of 3/1/2020
  • 20 or fewer part-time and full-time employees
  • Less than $2 Million in annual revenue
  • Preference will be given to service and retail businesses

For more information please head to the following website:

Kiva Loans

Kiva is an international nonprofit with a mission to expand financial access to help under served communities thrive. Kiva lenders have shown their commitment to providing financial assistance to all by making 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs in the U.S. on for the last 10 years. In today’s difficult circumstances, we’d like to make it as easy and impactful as possible for small businesses in the U.S. to have access to affordable capital on the Kiva platform—capital that may be the difference between shutting down and keeping their doors open. Follow the link for more information

Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC), Emergency Loan Fund (COVID-19)

This program makes loans between $5,000 and $10,000 for working capital to cover rent, payroll and other fixed expenses for businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency. Loan application materials can be found on the Chamber’s website.

Eligible Applicants:

  • A for-profit business located in a low to moderate-income census tract or a minority owned business located in Wisconsin.
  • An existing business in operation for a minimum of two years
  • A business with less than 500 employees
  • Interest: Prime (5.50%) plus 1.5% to 5.5% depending upon underwriting
  • Terms: Interest only payment for the first three months; maximum amortization period subject to negotiation

Loan Package:

  • Loan application
  • Two years of Tax Returns (personal and business)
  • Year-end financials for 2019 requested, but not required

For more information please contact HWCC Operations Manager, Ger Thao: or Learn More Here

Capitol Bank Coronavirus Relief Program

Capitol Bank has enacted a Coronavirus Relief Program, effective immediately. Their goal is to alleviate some of the financial stress and uncertainty you may be facing at this time, whether a result of illness or employment status changes. To address these hardships, thier program includes the following for eligible customers:

  • The suspension of late fees on past due loans for the next 60 days.
  • Upon request, deferred loan payments for up to 90 days on consumer, home and
    business loans.
  • Lines of credit for businesses that have been negatively impacted.
  • SBA Loans for businesses that have been negatively impacted.
  • Debt restructuring options for businesses that have been negatively impacted.
  • The suspension of any foreclosure activity on homes for the next 90 days.
  • Actively working with borrowers to determine eligibility for loan modification.

 For more information and helpful links to additional resources, please visit Capitol Banks Coronavirus Resource Center.

Relief Grants Available for Restaurant Employees Impacted by COVID-19

In the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) set up the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.The fund will provide $500 grants to restaurant industry employees who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Funds will be disbursed on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to availability of funds.


  • Encourage employees to complete the online application immediately on April 2nd
  • Requests will be reviewed and verified
  • Checks will be mailed to recipient directly, pending availability of funds


Funds will be available for restaurant employees who can demonstrate that they:

  • Worked on a part- or full-time basis in the restaurant industry for at least 90 days in the past year; and
  • Have had a primary source of income in the restaurant industry for the last year; and
  • Have experienced a decrease in wages or loss of job on or after March 10, 2020; and
  • Live in the United States, an overseas U.S. military base, or any U.S. territory; and
  • Are over the age of legal majority in their U.S. state or territory.

Essential Business Designations

Here is a copy of the "Safer at Home" order if you have not yet seen it:

Here is more guidance from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) regarding “essential businesses” who have some exception under the order. . There is a form on the WEDC site for businesses to receive designation if they do not fall within the identified categories on the WEDC website.

COVID-19: International Downtown Association (IDA) Community Discussion - Communications

Every Friday, IDA will be holding a web-based open discussion with leading IDA member subject matter experts about how their city and their organization is responding to the outbreak. The quickly evolving impacts of the novel coronavirus on downtowns, center cities and neighborhood districts have all IDA members reacting in real-time.

Every Monday, IDA will also hold virtual community discussions aimed at supporting CEOs during the COVID-19 crisis.

Visit the IDA resources page that has been developed to summarize and equip members with current information and best practices in preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 in urban place management districts. Click Here to learn more.

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) – Resources for Manufacturers

Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) Manufacturing Solutions has compiled this partial list of resources and information to help keep yourself, employees and communities safer. There are also links for information designed support economic retention and recovery related to COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Below is a link to their page with resources that may help you as you make decisions regarding your employees, business management, supply chain and customers. 

Additional Resources & Information