Wisconsin makes grants available to help small businesses recover
American Rescue Plan Act pays for $420 million program to help businesses stock shelves and pay down debt incurred because of the pandemic.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is accepting applications for the new Wisconsin Small Business Recovery Grants.
The grant program is a collaboration between the revenue department and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The grants will provide as many as 84,000 Wisconsin small businesses with annual gross revenue between $10,000 and $7 million with a flat award of $5,000.
Grants up to $420 million are available to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday, May 24.
“We want small businesses to know that help is on the way, and we’re glad to be able to announce these application dates so we can get these funds to our small businesses as quickly as possible,” Evers said in a prepared statement. “Our businesses will be able to use these funds to restock shelves, catch up on bills, rehire and retain workers, and help continue keeping folks safe so we can bounce back together.”
The governor’s announcement reflects the strategy of the new Wisconsin Tomorrow: An Economy for All report recently released by the WEDC, which calls for investments that advance economic well-being for individuals and communities. Last year, WEDC provided more than $240 million in grants to help more than 60,000 small businesses cope with losses related to the pandemic.
“These new grants are intended to support those small businesses who were hardest hit by the pandemic and who are now poised to make a strong recovery with just a little extra help,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and CEO.
The grants are part of Gov. Evers’ plan to use the $2.5 billion the state will receive under the ARPA, which includes $600 million in funds designated to supporting small businesses. The Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery grants are included in that $600 million.
“Both of my parents were entrepreneurs and small business owners, and I followed in those footsteps, so I have personal experience with the many challenges small businesses face. I am so pleased that we are able to provide some relief that will help small businesses recover and, eventually, bounce back further than where they were before the pandemic hit,” said DOR Secretary Peter Barca.
The new grants will target Wisconsin small businesses, including those that started in 2020, in sectors that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Individuals and businesses interested in learning more about the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program by visiting the main page of the Department of Revenue, revenue.wi.gov .