WEDC is providing up to $5 million in grants to small businesses in the state to help offset losses related to coronavirus response measures.
Individual grants are capped at $20,000 and reserved for companies with 20 employees or fewer that have borrowed from one of the state’s 23 community development financial institutions. The funds will go toward rent and payroll expenses including paid leave for workers.
Companies that hope to receive grants will have to apply through participating CDFIs, and WEDC plans to announce results in the next few weeks.
CDFIs include credit unions and community development banks, as well as nonprofit loan funds and venture capital funds. Grant applications will be handled by the CDFIs rather than WEDC.
Gov. Tony Evers has issued a public health emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak, banning gatherings of more than 10 people and ordering bars and restaurants to close to in-house patrons. Retailers are also expected to take a hit as consumers stay home to prevent further community spread of the virus.
The Small Business 20/20 program was approved Tuesday by the agency’s board of directors. According to WEDC spokesman David Callender, at least 250 businesses will receive grant funding. Read the full story here.