Wisconsin small business grant applications to open June 15

    Main Street in Cambridge
    Main Street in the Wisconsin community of Cambridge. (Henry Redman | Wisconsin Examiner)

    Wisconsin will take applications for the state’s COVID-19-related “We’re All In” grant program for small businesses starting Monday, June 15, with a deadline of midnight on Sunday, June 21.

    The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC), which is overseeing the $75 million program, plans to make grants of $2,500 each to 30,000 businesses. The program is funded from the state’s allotment under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

    Grants can be used to cover the costs of business interruption, health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.  Recipients will be asked to pledge to observe safety protocols in their workplaces to protect customers, employees and the broader  community.

    “This network of Main Street businesses will form the backbone of the broader ‘We’re All In’ initiative, along with support from major Wisconsin businesses, communities and other associations to show support for best health and safety practices in the workplace,” WEDC stated in an announcement issued on Monday.

    To be eligible, applicants must be Wisconsin-based, for-profit businesses founded before 2020 and in business as of February 2020. They must have 20 or fewer employees, including the owner, and positive annual revenues of less than $1 million.

    Businesses that are part of a national chain are not eligible unless they are owned by a third-party franchise. Also not  eligible are industries covered by other CARES Act programs, which include  crop farmers; operators of farms raising animals or fish; and residential landlords.


    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.