Several municipalities in the greater Milwaukee area have established emergency relief fund programs to support staple businesses in their communities.
Racine is launching a second round of its Small Business Emergency Fundprogram to help small businesses weather the economic impact of COVID-19.
Racine-based small businesses will have access to $650,000 in emergency relief funds. The city allocated $250,000 to support its local economy during the first round of funding distributed in early April.
Small businesses with up to 20 employees are eligible to apply for grants of up to $6,500. The additional funds have been available through the city’s Sanitary Sewer Surcharge Fund and from the city’s allocation of Room Taxes.
“I am happy that we were able to provide 18 businesses in the City with resources during with the first round of funding, but given that we had more than 100 applicants we know we needed to do more,” Racine mayor Cory Mason said in a statement.
To qualify, businesses must have been in operation for at least six months and also demonstrate efforts to obtain funding through other programs in addition to the city.
Shorewood recently launched its own $300,000 fund through its Business Improvement District. The program offers grants to local small businesses that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
Applications are due by May 4 and businesses must have a valid commercial occupancy permit, be in good standing, and have been closed or significantly impacted by the emergency orders to be considered.
The Wauwatosa Community Development Authority is also offering economic support for small business in the form of a forgivable loan covering 50% of non-payroll expenses, including rent/mortgage payments and utilities over a two-month period, up to a maximum of $7,500. The loans will be forgiven six months after the government quarantine is lifted.
The Wauwatosa CDA also has a working capital loan available of up to $20,000 to cover business expenses as a result of COVID-19. Loan payments are deferred for the first six months and the loan will not accrue interest for those six months. Following the initial six months, interest will accrue on the unpaid balance at a rate of 2% per year.
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