MADISON — The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will begin accepting applications online for the $75 million We’re All in Small Business Grant program beginning at 8 a.m. on June 15, WEDC officials announced June 1.
The program, which will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 small businesses, is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet amid the COVID-19 pandemic while also encouraging them to adopt best practices to keep employees, customers and communities safe.
Funded primarily by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the grants will help small businesses with the costs of business interruption or health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.
FAQs about the grant and the materials businesses will need to apply can be found at wedc.org/WAI-Small-Business-Grant. The online grant application will be accessible at the same site from 8 a.m. June 15, through 11:59 p.m. June 21.
A business may apply for the We’re All In Small Business Grant if it: was in business in Feb. Businesses that started in 2020 are not eligible; is Wisconsin-based and for-profit; employs 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, including the owner; 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, https://doa.wi.gov/Pages/LocalGovtsGrants/COVID-Grants.aspx.
To prepare for the online application process, businesses should be ready to upload the following documents to the WEDC application: 2018 or 2019 federal tax return for business. If the business was started in 2020, it is not eligible for this grant; a signed W-9 form available at www.irs.gov; and an email or letter of acknowledgement from a community organization indicating your business was in operation in Feb. 2020. Letters or emails can be from any of the following: Chamber of Commerce; Main Street or connect communities organization; local business improvement district; neighborhood economic development association; local economic development organization; county economic development organization; municipality, including tribal government; county; local bank, credit union or community development financial institution; regional UW Small Business Development Center; U.S Export Assistance Center, Wisconsin; regional economic development organization; Regional Planning Commission; trade association.
Sample text for a letter or email can be found at wedc.org/WAI-Small-Business-Grant.