New Financial Resources for Small Businesses

Gov. Tony Evers announced on October 6, 2020 more than $100 million in investments were made aimed at providing additional economic stability for small businesses and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the programs opens a second round for the “We’re All In Small Business Grant”, prioritizing businesses most impacted by the pandemic. The “We’re All In Small Business Grant Phase 2” is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet and encourages adoption of best practices to keep employees, customers and communities safe.

This program is funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and will provide grants to Wisconsin small businesses to help with costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, payroll, rent, mortgages, and inventory. Grant recipients become “We’re All In” businesses by pledging to observe health safety best practices in their facilities to protect employees, customers, and their local community. Industry-specific guidelines can be found here.

To apply for this program, you must fill out an application online. Applications will be accepted starting at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 19 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 2. If you are unable to fill out the online application, you may request assistance by calling the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) at (608) 266-2772. Businesses may apply themselves or have a representative apply on their behalf; however, be aware the person completing the application must enter their first and last name.

A business may apply if all the following criteria are met:

  • The business started operating prior to January 1, 2020, operated in 2020, and suffered an economic loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The business filed their 2019 federal and Wisconsin income or franchise tax return (certain exceptions apply for fiscal-year filers – see Question #14 below)
  • The business has more than $0 and less than $1 million in annual revenues (gross receipts less returns and allowances) shown on their federal tax return, specifically:
    • Line 1c of 2019 Form 1065
    • Line 1c of 2019 Form 1120
    • Line 1c of 2019 Form 1120-S
    • Line 3 of 2019 Schedule C (Form 1040 or 1040-SR)
  • The business had 1 to 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees in 2019. A sole proprietor counts as one employee for these criteria. Seasonal businesses should use the highest total FTEs employed during the season. One full-time equivalent (FTE) is one or more employees working a total of 40 hours per week. For example, if you have two employees each working 20 hours per week, then you have one FTE.
  • At least 75% of the business’s value of real and tangible personal property owned or rented and used by the business in 2019 is located in Wisconsin. For this criteria, real and tangible personal property owned by the business is valued at its original cost, and real and tangible personal property rented by the business is valued at an amount equal to the annual rental paid by the business, less any annual rental received by the business from sub-rentals, multiplied by 8.
  • At least 75% of the amount of the business’s labor costs in 2019 paid to individuals is for services performed in Wisconsin. For these criteria, labor costs include amounts paid to a professional employer organization or a professional employer group, but do not include profits earned or distributed to a sole proprietor.
  • The owner or business must not be on one of the following lists:
  • The business must not be a governmental unit or primarily engaged in any of the following North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes beginning with:
    • 111XXX – Crop Production
    • 112XXX – Animal Production or Aquaculture
    • 5311XX – Lessors of Real Estate
    • 813XXX – Nonprofit Organizations

In addition to the “We’re All In Small Business Grant Phase 2” program, other financial assistance will include:

  • $20 million for the Wisconsin lodging industry: This investment will provide the lodging industry 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 for live music and performance venues throughout Wisconsin: Music venues, which often serve as community gathering places and cultural hubs, were among the first small businesses to close and may be among the last to fully re-open.
  • $10 million to support privately owned movie theaters.
  • $10 million in additional support for non-profit cultural venues.
  • $4 million in additional investments for destination marketing organizations and tourism drivers.

We will be sure to share updated information on these resources as they are made available. If you have questions or need assistance applying for the We’re All In Small Business Grant Phase 2 program, contact one of our KerberRose Trusted Advisors or visit the DOR’s FAQs page here.

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