Gov. Tony Evers today awarded more than $86 million in grants to support small businesses in communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic that have historically had difficulty accessing credit and capital.
“We’re continuing to build a strong and resilient economy that works for everyone, and that means encouraging business development in communities that have been hit hard by the pandemic and often face barriers to getting the tools and resources they need to be successful,” said Gov. Evers. “By supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs, these grant programs will ensure job growth, stronger communities, and a brighter, more equitable future for Wisconsin.”
Of the more than $86 million, $57.6 million in grants were awarded through the Diverse Business Assistance Grant Program to 24 chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations providing assistance to small businesses. These grants will support the work of chambers of commerce across the state in providing coaching and mentoring, technical assistance, equipment and internet services, digital literacy, online marketing and social media training, financial aid, and financial literacy support, as well as networking and educational opportunities for new business owners and emerging entrepreneurs. A list of grant awardees and additional information can be found on the program website (see award announcement).
Another $28.8 million in grants were awarded through the Diverse Business Investment Grant Program to nine Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). These CDFIs support micro and small businesses not only through lending and providing access to capital and credit, but many also support programs that provide additional technical assistance, coaching and mentoring, and credit counseling. These grants will help these institutions continue to bolster and ignite economic and business growth in Wisconsin. A list of grant awardees and additional information can be found on the program website (see award announcement).