The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network has created this page to anchor important resources and information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff across all of our centers are available to work with you via phone or virtual means.
We’re here to help.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance
NOTICE: Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the SBA raised the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.
The deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications has been extended to Dec. 31, 2021.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are available to small businesses via funding from federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We set up a page to help you navigate the process: wisconsinsbdc.org/disasterloans.
These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
EIDL applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis; contact SBA disaster customer service if you have a question about your loan status.
Note: The SBA has other coronavirus relief measures in place; check for your cross-program eligibility.
- SBA Express Bridge Loans allow small businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
- Through SBA Debt Relief, the SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest and fees of 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
- The Paycheck Protection Program, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and Restaurant Revitalization Fund are all covered in detail on this page as well.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is an SBA 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.
NOTE: To check the status of your application, contact your lender.
PPP Loan Forgiveness: The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 60 percent of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). There are three options for applying (Spanish versions also available on the main PPP page); learn more in the forgiveness FAQ or check out the Factsheet for Borrowers:
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act.
Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
NOTICE: The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal is temporarily suspended while the SBA works to resolve technical issues. You may still register for an account at this time, which will allow the SBA to send you updates.
The First Priority Applications, open as of April 8, 2021, are for entities that suffered a 90% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These applications will be phased in, every two weeks, based on level of revenue lost. Note: IRS Form 4506T is required; see more below.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) was established by the American Rescue Plan Act.
The RRF will offer $28.6 billion in grants to hard-hit restaurants and bars, with restaurants able to apply for grants based on lost revenue. Additionally, $5 billion of that total will be set aside expressly for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000.
Generally speaking, restaurants can apply for grants that are equal to 2020 gross revenue minus 2019 gross revenue. (Grant funds will not be taxed like income.)
For businesses in operation for all of 2019 and 2020, the maximum grant size will be $5 million for restaurants and $10 million for restaurant groups.
The grants can be taken even if businesses have received other federal relief, including PPP, EIDL and the Employee Retention Tax Credits, though any PPP loans already received will be subtracted from the eligible grant total.
The application time period is expected to be announced soon; restaurants will be able to apply via the web or trusted point-of-sale (POS) service providers. In the meantime, prepare your documentation and learn more about how to apply. IMPORTANT NOTE: On Days 1 to 21, the SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants but only process and fund priority group applications: businesses owned by women, veterans or socially/economically disadvantaged groups.
Navigating the New Normal Guide
The ongoing uncertainty of this pandemic can be just plain overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be, with the right attention to planning. This workbook, developed by the Wisconsin SBDC to incorporate months of learning from experts and clients, offers reflection questions, checklists and goal-setting prompts to help you move forward.
COVID-19 Wisconsin Business Recovery Calendar
This calendar is a list of all COVID-19 business recovery events in Wisconsin. Please use the searchable fields to find the event that is right for your small business, in your area.
Federal guidance and resources to help your business respond to COVID-19. The agencies will be updating their pages regularly as regulations and processes change:
- Federal Resources for Small Businesses, a website with multiple agency resources
- SBA Guidance and Resources
- CDC Guidance for Reopening
- CDC Interim Guidance
- Department of Labor Resources
- IRS and Tax Relief
- IRS Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act
- Farmers.gov USDA COVID-19 Resources
- Coronavirus Recovery Information in Other Languages
Wisconsin Resources for Businesses & Employers
- Workplace Safety
- Businesses, Employers and Workers overview
- Preventing and Managing COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace (PDF)
- Workplace Safety Page from the Department of Workforce Development
- Signage: We’re All In posters to encourage safe behavior
- Reopen Guidelines
- PPE & Testing
- Support Small Business
- Main Street Marketplace: Connect to over 230 online small businesses across 34 Wisconsin Main Street communities, all in one marketplace.
- COVID-19 Small Business Relief
- USDA Business & Industry CARES Act Program: This program offers loan guarantees to rural businesses and agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans. Deadline: Sept. 15 or until funds run out
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is encouraging people to learn more about unemployment and apply online due to unprecedented call volume and tens of thousands of applications. DWD says over 98 percent of those who have applied through the website have been able to successfully start, complete and file their claim for unemployment benefits. Below are popular links to help answer your questions.
Wisconsin SBDC staff has curated and is updating a list of common questions we are fielding, with answers, to help address your most important questions.
Additional resources can be found at the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship COVID-19 page.
Still have questions?
If you still have questions about your small business, let us know.