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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 Restart - *Application is now closed* The City will offergrants to small businesses to assist in the process of reopening and adapting to the COVID pandemic. Visit the Milwaukee Restart website for program details. (Updated 6/12/2020)

  • 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 Assossor's 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 café 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 opeartions. Please view the following Department of Neighborhood Services March 25 News Release for details. (Updated 3/25/2020)

  • State Reopen Guidelines - The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has created businesses reopening guildelines to assist businesses in planning to reopen with special conditions as conditions improve under the COVID-19 pandemic. (Added 5/11/2020)

Financial Assistance - Loans and Grants

  • WEDC We're All In Grant - 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. Applications will be accepted June 15th - June 21st. Visit the We're All In website for more information. (Added 6/2/2020)

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - The SBA has reopened their COVID releif programs. Visit the SBA COVID programs page to find out about the various programs offered to small businesses. (Updated 4/27/20)

  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) - In response to the strain placed on small businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, WEDC has funded the Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant (EMEG) initiative as part of the Minority Business Development Program. The EMEG initiative will award grants of $2,000 per company to ethnic minority-owned businesses with five or fewer full-time equivalent employees (including the owner) in the retail, service or hospitality sectors that have not received assistance through the Small Business 20/20 Program or the federal CARES Act and/or Paycheck Protection Program. For more information, see the WEDC EMEG brochure(Added 5/11/20)

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

  • 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 assembld a list of links and resources for businesses for COVID-19. (Added 3/24/2020)

    • LISC National Small Business Relief Grants - LISC is offering small business releif grants nationwide. Visit the proceeding link for guidelines and application. Applications must be submitted by  Tuesday, April 28 at 11:59PM EST. (Added 4/23/20)

    • 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 Grant that provides up to $1,200 to assist small businesses with rent and payroll support.
        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 (Added 3/31/2020)

    • Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund (Added 3/30/2020)

    • LISC National Business Resources (Added 3/30/2020)

    • Resources for Artists/Freenlancers (Added 3/30/2020)

  • 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.

  • The Ethnic & Diverse Business Coalition (EDBC) - The EDBC is a coalition of 14 ethnic and diverse chambers of commerce and partner organizations that serve the State of Wisconsin.

    The COVID-19 Small Business Impact Grant 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 member in good standing with one of our member Chambers of Commerce. If you are NOT a member of a chamber, please reach out to a chamber (you can view a list at www.edbcwisconsin.org) to view chamber memberships and to inquire about your eligibility. Grants will be available up to $500.

    If you have any questions, please call (414) 287-4172 for more information., PLEASE CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT THE APPLICATION FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS IMPACT GRANT. (Added 3/24/2020)

  • Facebook Small Business Grants - Facebook understands that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time. (Added 3/19/2020)

  • 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

  • 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 Responce Program website(Added 3/20/2020)

Milwaukee Business Improvement Districts

Non Profit Resources

Toolkits

Freelance/Artist Resources

Recursos Para Negocios Para COVID-19 En Español

Other COVID-19 Resources

City of Milwaukee Department of City Development