WEDC extends deadline to Friday night for small business grant program

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    With room remaining for 4,000 or more businesses to qualify, Wisconsin is extending its application deadline by three more days for $2,500 grants that small enterprises can use to help recover from losses suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Small businesses with 20 or fewer employees now have until midnight Friday, June 26, to apply for the $2,500 grants through the “We’re All In” initiative by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The agency has $75 million set aside for the program, enough for about 30,000 recipients.

    As of late Tuesday, the original deadline date, more than 26,000 applications had been received, WEDC said in a statement early Wednesday.

    Grants will not be administered on a first-come, first-serve basis, “so businesses all have the same chance of receiving a grant, regardless of when they apply,” WEDC CEO and Secretary-designee Missy Hughes emphasized in the agency’s statement. “But with the limited time that’s left, we’re encouraging businesses to apply now so that if they have questions, they don’t risk missing out on this important resource.”

    Information on materials that the application must include is found on the program’s webpage on the WEDC website. To qualify, a business must have started operating before 2020 and have still been operating as of February 2020; must be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit enterprise with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees; and must have positive annual revenues of less than $1 million.

    Businesses that are part of a national chain — except for independent franchisees — will not qualify. Industries that were already covered by other state relief programs funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act also will not qualify.

    Erik Gunn
    Senior Reporter Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, along with related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.