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Wisconsin Acts to Secure State and Federal Assistance for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Federal Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans

On March 18, 2020, Governor Evers requested that the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) declare COVID-19 a disaster for Wisconsin. Once the SBA declares Wisconsin a disaster area, it will allow Wisconsin small businesses in all 72 counties to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (“EIDL”).

SBA EIDLs offer up to $2 million in loans to small business that are unable to meet current obligations and to pay ordinary and necessary operating expenses because of the disaster. Small business, small agricultural co-operatives, and most private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for an EIDL. An EIDL is available only when the SBA determines the business is unable to obtain credit elsewhere.

We expect the SBA to declare Wisconsin a disaster area based upon COVID-19. The SBA has already declared the following states disaster areas: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.

Once Wisconsin is declared a COVID-19 disaster area, or if your business is located in one of the already declared areas, you may apply for an EIDL online through the SBA.

Wisconsin’s Small Business 20/20 Program

Additionally, on March 17, 2020, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (“WEDC”) approved $5 million in funding to create the Small Business 20/20 program (“SB20/20”). SB20/20 will provide grants of up to $20,000 to targeted small businesses, of no more than 20 employees and less than $2 million in annual revenue, to cover 2 months’ worth of rent and payroll expenses, including paid COVID-19 leave. SB20/20 hopes to provide support for the “smallest of the small” businesses impacted by this emergency.

The grants will be deployed by partnering with the state’s 23 community development financial institutions (“CDFIs”), which have pre-existing relationships with many of the impacted small businesses. A list of these CDFIs is available on-line. CDFIs are specialized community based financial institutions with a primary mission to promote economic development to communities and people underserved by traditional financial institutions.

Approved CDFIs and collaboratives will make SB20/20 grants available to current loan recipients in good standing with the CDFI as of 3/1/2020. Preference will be given to service and retail businesses.

We are continuously monitoring this rapidly evolving impact to provide our clients with the most updated guidance on how best to safeguard their workforce while maintaining business operations. In the coming days please watch for updated guidance and recommendations for employers to consider when reviewing their policies to respond to this ever-changing pandemic. This is a dynamic developing situation, therefore, the perspectives given are at the time of the publication.

© 2020 Davis|Kuelthau, s.c. All Rights Reserved


About this Author

Sherry Coley Litigation Attorney Davis Kuelthau

Sherry is a member of Davis|Kuelthau’s Litigation Team practicing in the Green Bay office. Her practice primarily focuses on complex business litigation, with an emphasis on contract disputes, business torts, financial services litigation, real estate foreclosures and work-outs, and tax assessment appeals.

Sherry is also a member of the Intellectual Property Team representing clients in district courts across the country, as well as, in the Ninth and Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. She has litigated patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition and trade secret cases in a wide...

Tiffany Woelfel Davis Kuelthau Litigation Attorney

Tiffany Woelfel is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice in Davis|Kuelthau’s Green Bay office.

Prior to joining the firm, Tiffany was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and for the Honorable Joe B. McDade, Senior Judge in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. While in law school, she was also a judicial intern for the Honorable William M. Conley, Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin. She gained experience in the federal law and civil procedure, as well as Wisconsin and Illinois state law.

While in law school, Tiffany was on the executive board of the Wisconsin Moot Court board and member of the Wisconsin Law Review. She also gave back to her community and completed over 150 pro bono hours while in school. In 2016, she was named the Dane County Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Law Student of the Year.

Before law school, she double majored in International Business and Non-profit Management at the University of Minnesota. She also spent two years teaching sixth grade math in Mississippi as part of Teach for America.