COVID-19 Resources for Business

In an effort to provide information and resources to address the current issue we are facing nationwide, we have compiled this list of resources for businesses. We intend to update this periodically as new programs and resources present themselves. Please check back for updates.

As a first step, businesses should first contact their lender or bank to see what relief their lending institution can offer. This point has been highly stressed as an important first action. Many banks are able to assist businesses in SBA loan applications. When reaching out, businesses should make sure to note the date, time and name of the bank representative they talked to. It would also be helpful for them to get any agreements for relief in writing for their records.

 

Quick Access Links:

Thank you to partner organizations who have compiled many of the resources and links shared below (Milwaukee Downtown BID 21, WEDC)

City of Milwaukee - Small Business Guidance and Resources

  • Milwaukee Health Department - For technical information on the Novel Coronavirus also referred to as COVID-19, visit the Milwaukee Health Department's Novel Corona Virus Webpage.

  • Guidance for Businesses- Please visit the following link for the Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely page on the Health Department Website for guidance. (Updated 5/22/2020)

  • Property Tax Exemption Guidance - For owner's of Tax-Exempt property, please click on the link for the March 27, 2020 Assessors' Office Guidance Letter for Property Tax Exemption Filing (Revised 4/8/2020)

  • Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) - MEDC is a private non-profit corporation that serves Milwaukee businesses by providing low interest loans and other resources. Visit MEDC's website or call (414) 269-1440. (Added 3/20/2020)

  • Restaurant Carryout Zone Program - In an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, on March 16 Governor Tony Evers restricted restaurant service to delivery and carry-out only.  To assist restaurants that currently do not have a "Loading Zone" adjacent to their business, the City of Milwaukee has implemented a temporary program to provide "Restaurant Carryout Zones" (Updated 5/7/2020)

    • All Class B and Class C establishments are currently allowed to sell sealed containers of alcohol to go. The hours are the same as those allowed under a Class A establishment (liquor/grocery store), which are 8:00 am – 9:00 pm, as long as the individual license for that business allows those hours. Beer and wine can be sold in unlimited quantities, while there is a 4 liter restriction per customer for liquor.
      Curbside service is allowed for those establishments that already hold a Sidewalk Dining Facility Permit that extends to the area where alcohol will be given to the customer. Businesses without a sidewalk cafe would be required to obtain a Temporary Change to the Plan of Operation permit. No late fees currently apply. (Added 3/20/20)
      Alcohol can still be picked up at the door of the establishment. Otherwise if the business has another outdoor area that is currently licensed like a patio, they could also establish a pickup place there. (Updated 3/24/2020)

  • City Permitting during COVID-19 -The City Permit and Development Center has released new guidance for business operations. Please view the following Department of Neighborhood Services March 25 News Release for details. (Updated 3/25/2020)

Financial Assistance - Loans and Grants

  • Main Street Bounceback Grants from WEDC

    • The Main Street Bounceback Grants program provides $10,000 to new or existing businesses and non-profit organizations moving into vacant properties in Wisconsin’s downtowns and commercial corridors. Funds can be used to pay leases or mortgages, operational expenses and other business costs related to the newly opened location. The program is open to new or existing businesses opening a new location or expanding operations in a vacant commercial space as of January 1, 2021. Grant funds are available as part of the American Recovery Plan Act and will be distributed by WEDC’s regional partners. Businesses must apply through the partner organization for the region in which they are located. Find out more on the Main Street Bounceback Webpage. (Added 8/23/21)

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - The SBA has continues to offer COVID relief programs. Visit the SBA COVID programs page to find out about the various programs offered to small businesses. (Updated 3/23/21) 

  • Hmong Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin COVID 19 Emergency Loan Fund - ​Loans from $5,000 and up to $10,000 at 0% Interest rate. For more information about terms and guidelines, visit the HWCC COVID 19 ELF website.

  • Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) Fast Track Loan Program - For current and new small business clients, WWBIC is offering fast track loans up to $15,000 and Lines of Credit for up to $10,000! (Updated 3/18/21)

  • Kiva has expanded lending terms and eligibility to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Downtown businesses in our communities that are women-, minority- and/or veteran-owned are also eligible for a 50% match from WEDC to expedite their loan. Encourage businesses to apply, and/or sign up to be a lender on the Kiva website. Effective immediately, U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan will have access to the following:

    1. Expanded eligibility: More businesses in the US will be eligible for a Kiva loan than ever.

    2. Larger loans: The maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000.

    3. Grace period: New borrowers may access a grace period of up to 6 months for greater financial flexibility. If you have questions and would like to contact a local Kiva rep, contact Amy via e-mail: Milwaukee@local.kiva.org or text - 414-220-0177(Added 3/19/2020)

  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Milwaukee - LISC has assembled a list of links and resources for businesses for COVID-19. (Added 3/24/2020)

    • Brew City Match COVID ResourcesThe City of Milwaukee is proud to be a partner on Brew City Match. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, Brew City Match is taking action to ensure that we continue to support the people and places where we work. Our goal is to mitigate economic impact in our communities. We have developed two tools to ease the financial burden for small business owners:

      • The Brew City Match COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Loan Fund that provides zero interest loans to small businesses to assist with rent, payroll, and additional
        For more information visit: https://brewcitymatch.com/covid-19 (Updated 3/18/2021)

  • Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeast Wisconsin - The Más Fuertes program aims to provide socioeconomic relief and economic empowerment to Small businesses with 20 or less employees and the self employed who have been marginalized in all current relief programs by Federal, State and Local Government. The program is specifically designed to address the economic trauma that the Latino Community is suffering using culturally and linguistically relevant solutions centered in an individualized case management approach that leads to long term sustainability and immediate liquidity to Latino micro-enterprises.

  • UW Credit Union Emergency Personal Loan - For those members who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, they are offering a low-rate personal loan to help with budgeting concerns. (Added 3/19/2020)

Business Technical Assistance and Coaching Resources

  • BackTo.Biz - Your one-stop resource to get your business back on track

    • "Back To Biz is a free program designed to help your business recover and grow. It features a collection of more than 400 actionable video lessons, informative interviews, success stories, articles and tools from a diverse and renowned set of innovative entrepreneurs. The content is designed to help you expand your knowledge and skills on a wide range of topics, including hiring talent, selling online, building your brand, pivoting business models, creating new revenue streams, finding your ideal customers, managing stress and more." For more information, visit the BackTo.Biz website

  • Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) Loan and Technical Assistance Resources

  • Gener8tor - 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. Businesses wishing to enroll is should sign on the gener8tor Emergency Response Program website(Added 3/20/2020)

  • Wisconscin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Vaccince Guidance for All Businesses - Visit WEDC's Vaccine Guidance for All Businesses Page for helpful vaccine information for employers. (Added 4/05/2021)

Milwaukee Business Improvement Districts

Non Profit Resources

  • Milwaukee Responds Fund (for Non-Profits) - Milwaukee Responds offers COVID resources for Non-Profit partners with a focus on the areas of food, housing & shelter, medical services/clinics, mental health and early childhood and K-12 education activities. Visit the Milwaukee Responds page for information on how to apply or donate.

  • IFF List of Resources for Non-Profits for COVID

Toolkits

Freelance/Artist Resources

Recursos Para Negocios Para COVID-19 En Español

Other COVID-19 Resources

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