Additional $100 Million Investment in Small Businesses and Economic Stabilization Announced
Includes second round of We’re All In Grants and investments in tourism, entertainment, and cultural venues
On October 6th, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced more than $100 million in investments aimed at providing additional economic stabilization for small businesses and communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement includes a second round of WEDC’s We’re All In Grants plus stabilization programs to support the lodging and tourism industry, live music and performance venues, cultural non-profits, and privately-owned movie theaters.
“Small businesses, including the tourism and lodging industries, are the backbone of our Wisconsin communities,” said Gov. Evers. “That’s why we’re investing another $100 million in businesses and communities across our state.”
$50 million is reserved for We’re All In Grants, an economic development grant program launched by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) this summer. Statewide, more than 26,000 businesses received the grants, but many continue to face economic challenges from the pandemic. We’re All In applications open at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 19th and close at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 2nd. As with the previous round of WEDC grants, the awards will not be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Businesses that received funds under the first round of grants, as well as the Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant program, are also eligible for the second round. Priority will be given to businesses that have not previously received funds from either of the first two programs, those with ethnically diverse ownership, and those in the hardest-hit sectors, such as restaurants and taverns, hair and nail salons and barber shops, and other services. The grants will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in partnership with WEDC. Learn more about the program and apply at www.revenue.wi.gov.
$20 million of the $100 million is for the state’s lodging industry. The investment provides the lodging industry with emergency resources to navigate a reduction in travel and cover the cost of implementing additional public health best practices as the pandemic continues.
$15 million is included for live music and performance venues. Music venues were among the first small businesses to close and may be among the last to fully re-open.
$10 million will support privately-owned movie theaters, which have not been spared the financial strain felt by movie theater companies.
$10 million is included in additional support for non-profit cultural venues, bringing the total investment to $15 million.
$4 million of additional investments is included for destination marketing organizations and tourism drivers, bringing the state’s total investment to $12 million.
All of the efforts are funded through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).
Additional details will follow.