COVID-19 Resources

WEDC All In Small Business Grant Opens June 15

Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the We’re All In Small Business Grant Program will provide $2,500 to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.


Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely

This page has information on gating criteria for reopening, updated Orders, and updated phased reopening plans.


Milwaukee's Restart Grant Program Applications Open 5/28-6/12

Restart grants will assist for-profit businesses located in the City of Milwaukee that have 20 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees and greater than $0 but less than $2 million in 2019 revenue. Restart grants shall be limited to one per business owner. All applicants must be current on property taxes owed to the City of Milwaukee up through the 2018 tax bill. 


List Your Business on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Support Local page

Any business selling gift cards can be listed on the page. 


Wisconsin Safety Council's Returning to Work: 8 Steps to Keep Employees Safe

As the state debates how to reopen the economy, it is important that steps are taken to protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites. Businesses must show they are prepared to keep employees, customers and other guests safe. A new normal will exist when businesses are allowed to reopen, and it will be incumbent upon employers to take the necessary steps to minimize risk


PPE Through Wisconsin Supplier's Network

As part of the Wisconsin Ready action plan to support businesses to operate safely, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is working with partners across the state to identify manufacturers that can supply personal protective equipment and other materials.


City of Milwaukee Order1 Guidelines and Safety Measures to Reopen Business

Guidelines and safety measures that will be updated as appropriate for a phased-in approach at reopening business. 


WEDC Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant

To help minority-owned micro-businesses cope with the economic impact of COVID-19 the Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant initiative is being launched with a total of $2 million to be available to 1,000 Wisconsin micro-businesses. Applications are accepted May 18-24. 


WEDC's Guidelines on Reopening

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.


Building Customer Trust kit

The reality is, that once your businesses and economy open, customers will still have concerns about protecting themselves and trusting that your space is safe. They may not feel comfortable with entering your restaurant or coffee shop, interacting and touching the merchandise, or touching the credit card machines. Your success and viability depends on understanding how your customers’ needs and concerns have changed following this pandemic. Thanks to Downtown Lansing for this resource! 


Reopening Safely: Tips for Community Leaders and Small Business Owners

As states begin to open their economies across the nation, small business owners will first and foremost need to look to both local and state guidelines as they determine how to reopen safely. At the same time, they will need to recognize changes in consumer psyche that may shift shopping habits and perceptions of safe shopping requiring them to adjust basic operations.


Kroger's Blueprint for Business

Kroger Grocers are sharing some simple best practices they're implementing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Reopen Main Street

Taking a look ahead at “new reality” possibilities and working to compile potential reopening strategies, ideas, hints and tips for businesses, business districts and organizations as we enter the COVID-19 recovery phase.


Open We Stand

#OpenWeStand is for anyone who is keeping the economic health of small business top of mind in this challenging time. It’s for shop owners minding their customers’ and employees’ safety — and for everyone who stands with small business. This website has resources, inspiration, and connection to other everyday entrepreneurs with creative solutions to keep their business open, even if their doors are closed due to COVID-19.


US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Save Small Business Fund

The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories.


WWBIC COVID-19 Loan Offerings 

THE WWBIC COVID-19 FAST TRACK LOAN PROGRAM is focused on existing businesses looking for business financing during COVID-19. Business owners have two options to pick from depending on their needs: a line of credit or a term loan.


Kiva Loans Help Support Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Kiva loans have expanded eligibility, is making larger loans available, and extending the payback grace period. Because The East Side is a Main Street America Connect Community, WEDC is providing matching funds for applicants in our district. 


SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan FAQs

The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, intends to provide timely additional guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by section 1102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act or the Act). This document will be updated on a regular basis.


National Restaurant Association Employee Relief Fund

The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (“Fund”) was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing extraordinary hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have been impacted by COVID-19, including a decrease in wages or loss of employment. 


Paycheck Protection Program Application is Live

The application is live. Business owners can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. 


Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses

Information on eligibility, where to apply, borrowing amounts, forgiveness, and application deadlines. 


Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.


SBA Paycheck Protection Program Info

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.


Opportunity Fund Assistance for Small Business Owners Affected by COVID-19

Opportunity Fund is committed to supporting existing and new small business customers who are financially struggling amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are a small business owner whose business has been impacted, please contact us directly so that we may better serve you.


Sign Up to Sell Gift Cards Through Kabbage 

With the current impacts to our economy, we want to make sure there are ways to help local entrepreneurs. Through Kabbage Payments™, any business can sign up to sell gift certificates online, and anyone can purchase them to support participating small businesses.


JP Morgan Chase $50 Million Investment to Address Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19

The firm will promptly deploy $8 million, including $5 million in the U.S. and $3 million in international markets to support vulnerable and underserved small businesses. 


EDBC COVID-19 Small Business Impact Grant Application

This grant offering is to assist small ethnic and diverse businesses of any industry that are a business member in of one of our coalition members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before filling out this application, please note that you MUST be a for-profit entity AND a member in good standing with one of our affiliate chambers of commerce.


NFIB Small Business Resources

On this page, you will find up-to-date resources from NFIB and outside organizations. Throughout this time, NFIB will continue to offer webinars, legislative monitoring, and additional resources.


Small Business Majority Daily Updates for Small Businesses 

As developments continue to unfold in response to the spread of COVID-19, we know many small businesses have questions about implications in the workplace and funding options to help bolster their businesses during this difficult time. We are compiling relevant tips and resources and information on new funding opportunities and policy developments that we are sharing on our website and through online presentations. We will be posting daily updates to this page with useful information about the ways small businesses can prepare for the impact of COVID-19 on their business and community.


Quickbooks Small Business Relief Initiative

Quickbooks is committing up to $1 million through a fund and employee-directed contributions while also seeking donations from other large partners. With support crowdsourced from the world's largest small business community, We're excited to see this initiative grow. If you're a small business impacted by COVID-19or want to help a local business, you can start a GoFundMe fundraiser. 


gener8tor Emergency Response Program

gener8tor is hosting emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs will feature daily webinars designed to identify, understand and help small businesses secure resources to withstand the current crisis. One-on-one office hours will also be available.


SBA Coronavirus Small Business Resources & Updates

SBA assistance, loans, and updates.


City of Milwaukee COVID-19 Resource Listing

A compilation of local, state, federal, and private resources to assist businesses during the COVID-19 epidemic. 


Milwaukee's Restaurant Carryout Zone Program

To assist restaurants that currently do not have a "Loading Zone" adjacent to their business, the City has implemented a temporary program to provide "Restaurant Carryout Zones”.


CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019


SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources

Information on Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and Guidance for Businesses and Employers


US Chamber: 8 Things Your Small Business Needs to Do

Here are the top CDC-recommended tips that small business owners can take to mitigate risk, protect employees and support customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


NSBA Resources on COVID-19 for Small Businesses

The National Small Business Association has compiled resources and strategies for small businesses. 


How to Make it Through COVID-19 as a Small Business

Our only private resource, but it's a good one. 


WEDC's Small Business 20/20 Fund

The program provides funds to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to make grants to existing loan clients to mitigate short-term cash flow issues and protect jobs and public health in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Click here to find a CDFI in Wisconsin.


COVID-19 Resources from the National Main Street Center

Community is at the heart of everything we do. As COVID-19 begins to have an increasingly significant impact on communities across the country, we are compiling existing resources, opportunities, and community response examples to help Main Street districts during this crisis. 


COVID-19 Resources from the International Downtown Association 

This resources page 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.


Income Assistance for People Affected by COVID-19-Related Layoffs

 If your income has fallen or been cut off completely, we’re here to help. This guide will connect you to the basic information you’ll need to get through this, including on government benefits, free services and financial strategies.


USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

Donate to or apply for emergency relief for bartenders during the COVID-19 outbreak. 


COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources 

This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.


Imagine MKE Artist Relief Fund

To help support our city's artists and creators, we are raising money for a MKE Artist Relief Fund that will benefit Milwaukee-based artists who have experienced a financial loss due to a cancelled live event, performance, or engagement.


Information and Resources from Arts Wisconsin for the Creative Sector re COVID-19

Arts Wisconsin is working with state and national partners to share information, resources, and actions related to the creative sector and COVID-19, and to gather data to assess the impact of postponements and cancellations. 


Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Emergency Grant Program for Artists

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has partnered with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to administer a new medical emergency grant program called Rauschenberg Emergency Grants.


Downtown Milwaukee Economic Resources and Programs

Milwaukee Downtown gathered resources to assist the businesses, both large and small, in our community that are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.