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June 5, 2020

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THRIVING AFTER COVID
Grants Help Small Businesses Restart
"We're All In" Initiative Opens Application Period On June 15 For One Week Only
 
The “We’re All In” grant initiative will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 small businesses in Wisconsin as they re-open.

The program is designed to help small businesses, which often have thin profit margins and little cash reserves, get back on their feet during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also encourages them to adopt best practices to keep their employees, customers and communities safe. Grants will help small businesses with the cost of business interruptions, or other expenses, including health and safety improvements, wages, mortgages and inventory.
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Businesses must be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business to be eligible. In addition, they must:
  • Employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, including the owner
  • Have earned between $0 and $1 million on annual revenues, and
  • Have been in business in February of 2020.
One of the criteria for businesses to apply is to attach a short email or letter from a community organization indicating the business was in operation in February of 2020. This verification can come from your chamber of commerce, Main Street director, GCDC, municipality, bank, or Small Business Development Center, among others. If you would like a letter from GCDC, we’re happy to provide one. Email Cara Carper at cara.gcdc@tds.net.
 
The online grant application will only be available for one week: It will be accessible from 8 a.m. Monday, June 15, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 21.

Loans Available To Rural Businesses
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making up to $1 Billion in loan guarantees available to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, ag producers who are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans may receive funding under the USDA Business and Industry Cares Act included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act program.

Changes allow eligibility to be expanded and make loans more accessible. For examples, the USDA can accept appraisals completed within two years of the loan application and extend the maximum term to 10 years.
 
The loans must be used as working capital in response to effects of the pandemic. The loans are for rural businesses and ag producers in operation on Feb. 15, 2020. Applications are due no later than 11 p.m.(CDT) on Monday, June 22 or until funding runs out.

Click here for more information.

Main Street Marketplace Website Showcases Retailers Across State
A new online retail portal is helping small businesses across Wisconsin connect with potential customers through the Main Street Marketplace. The site is helping lessen some of the pandemic’s impact by showcasing the wide variety of retail offerings available – including decorative glass, coffee, vintage vinyl and specialty clothing.

The site, www.mainstreetwi.com, includes more than 230 locally owned shops that offer online sales. The database of stores is searchable by geography or product category. Owners can also submit their business on the website.
 
COVID-19 RESOURCES ONLINE
Green County Development Corporation is continually compiling links to 
websites with information specifically aimed at helping businesses 
navigate COVID-19's impact.
 
Click here for those resources
UW Students Offer
Their Services
Free Legal Help Available
Local entrepreneurs can receive free legal services through the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic program at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Under the program, second- and third-year law students provide free legal services to startup businesses throughout Wisconsin. Nonprofits are also eligible for legal services.

Law students work under the direct supervision of licensed, practicing attorneys and can help entrepreneurs start or maintain their businesses. Services include advising on entity selection, drafting operating agreement and advising on trademarks, among others. All services are currently offered online due to Covid-19.

For more information, contact Matthew Giguere of University of Wisconsin Law School by emailing mgiguere@wisc.edu.

Click here to apply for the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.

Capstone Service Projects Sought
The University of Wisconsin Madison Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture is seeking service projects to be included in the 2020-21 Senior Capstone Project.
Design and planning projects are mostly community/placemaking, urban/industrial redevelopments, waterfronts, and planning for park/open spaces.

When the project is complete, each client receives a comprehensive design and planning document that can support future design, planning, grant writing and other fundraising efforts.
A senior student in each of the Professional Landscape Architecture degree program completes each project. Projects take place from September to May. Students are guided by an advisory group from the host community and supervised by faculty.

Click here for more information about the Capstone project, including links to completed projects. 

An application is available here. Applications are due Aug. 14. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Sept. 16.
 
 

Green County Development is a 501c3 non-profit organization building the economic future of Green County Wisconsin's communities and businesses through public-private partnerships.
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