Gov. Evers announces $80 million to small businesses

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Wisconsin flag(Phoebe Murray)
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 8:39 PM CST
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MADISON, WI. (Northern News Now) - Governor Tony Evers and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced on Thursday that nearly $80 million will now be available to small businesses throughout Wisconsin.

This money will go towards helping small businesses operate, while also supporting entrepreneurs with start-ups.

Access to this federal funding was made possible through the State Small Business Credit Initiative as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Funds will be given out over several years, with a goal to invest in job-creating opportunities as the state’s economy recovers from the pandemic.

“More than 99 percent of Wisconsin businesses are small businesses that employ nearly half of Wisconsin workers, and we know they’re more likely to hire locally, buy supplies locally, and reinvest locally back into our communities. One of our focuses in recovering from the pandemic has been ensuring our small businesses receive the resources needed to thrive,” said Gov. Evers. “We’ve helped fuel our economic recovery by harnessing the ingenuity and homegrown talent we already have right here in Wisconsin, investing over $1 billion into supporting our small businesses and Main Streets, affected industries, and local communities. These new SSBCI funds will enable us to continue building upon our successful efforts to create jobs and new opportunities in our communities and ensure we maintain our state’s economic momentum.”

The Ever’s Administration proposed an allocation plan that was approved by the U.S. Treasury Department.

The plan calls for:

  • $50 million for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to create the Wisconsin Investment Fund to partner with venture capital funds investing private capital in Wisconsin-based start-ups
  • $8 million to expand WEDC’s Technology Development Loan program that supports innovative new businesses with flexible financing terms to launch and scale their operations
  • $6 million to support WEDC’s Capital Catalyst program, which provides matching funds to non-profit organizations operating small-business loan programs
  • $15 million for WHEDA to provide credit support to small businesses that receive microloans from Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) for accessing capital, increasing lending to steady borrowers, and expanding loan participation.

More information will be available on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s website and Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority’s website as details of the programs are released.