For Businesses

May 14, 2020: Following the state Supreme Court’s overturning of the Safer at Home Order and pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 252.03(1)&(2), West Allis and other Milwaukee County suburban municipalities have issued the COVID-19 Public Health Plan for Suburban Milwaukee County to continue with practices to limit the spread of the coronavirus.  These rules are effective immediately and are in place through May 21, and guide businesses regarding safe re-opening practices. Learn more.

Helping businesses during covid-19

We realize that the coronavirus pandemic is producing an extremely uncertain and challenging time for our business community. We are committed to ensuring West Allis business owners, entrepreneurs, and their employees are supported during this time. 

All businesses are highly encouraged to start seeking assistance by contacting their financial institutions. Financial institutions are offering loan forgiveness and for many of the opportunities listed below, your financial institution is required to apply.

This page will be updated frequently with more information.

West Allis small business assistance programs - Applications Due may 15

The City of West Allis provided $60,500 funding to the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) to provide assistance to microenterprises (less than five employees).  Funds were made available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Federal CARES Act. Applications are due by Friday, May 22. Learn more and apply.

Restaurant Carryout Zone Program

In an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, on March 16 Governor Tony Evers restricted restaurant service to delivery and carry-out only. To assist restaurants that currently do not have a "Loading Zone" adjacent to their business, the City of West Allis has implemented a temporary program to provide "Restaurant Carryout Zones".  The City will try to accommodate every request, however, priority may be given to locations that do not have easily accessible parking lots. Apply for a permit for a temporary carry out zone here (PDF).

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has issued guidelines and resources for restaurant operators (PDF).

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WISCONSIN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

In another step toward assisting small businesses that suffer losses related to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is creating a program to provide grants to targeted businesses throughout the state. The WEDC Board of Directors approved $5 million in funding for the program, which will be known as Small Business 20/20 (SB20/20). SB20/20 will provide grants of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19).

Learn more from WEDC. 

Download WEDC Navigating Through COVID-19 Guidebook for Small Businesses and Organizations (PDF).

KIVA

Kiva lenders have shown their commitment to providing financial assistance to all by making 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs in the U.S. on Kiva.org for the last 10 years. In today’s difficult circumstances, we’d like to make it as easy and impactful as possible for small businesses in the U.S. to have access to affordable capital on the Kiva platform -- capital that may be the difference between shutting down and keeping their doors open.

Kiva recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has global impact, and will continue to explore ways to help as many people affected by this crisis as possible. Currently, the U.S. market is the place Kiva has the most agility to deploy financial assistance.

Effective immediately, U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan will have access to the following:

  1. Expanded eligibility: More businesses in the US will be eligible for a Kiva loan than ever.
  2. Larger loans: The maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000.
  3. Grace period: New borrowers may access a grace period of up to 6 months for greater financial flexibility.

Contact Renee Linder at Kiva for more information, or call her at 414-395-4548.

WISCONSIN SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT NETWORK

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network has created this page to anchor important resources and information amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff across all of our centers are available to work with you via phone or virtual means.

We’re All in Program Grants

Gov. Tony Evers announced a $75 million grant program for small businesses to help them deal with costs from the COVID-19 pandemic and to implement best practices to keep employees and customers safe.

Funded largely with federal money through the CARES Act, the $2,5000 grants will help businesses pay for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. Businesses will be able to apply for the grant assistance in early June.

The program is targeting up to 30,000 businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees that haven’t already received COVID-19 assistance from WEDC. View press release.

UNITED STATES SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (or working capital loans) are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. They have set up a page to help you navigate the process.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Small Business Relief Grants

Thanks to support from funders like Verizon and Sam’s Club, LISC is providing grants to small businesses, to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period. Learn more, applications due May 20.

Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) 

MMAC is currently hosting a series of Webinars for Business Strategies During the Pandemic. Additionally, MMAC has a list of resources on their Coronavirus Guidance and Resources page.

Gener8tor 

Gener8tor is hosting emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs will feature daily webinars designed to identify, understand and help small businesses secure resources to withstand the current crisis. One-on-one office hours will also be available. Businesses wishing to enroll is should sign on the gener8tor Emergency Response Program website.

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)

WWBIC has moved all business and financial educational programming on-line and on-demand. WWBIC is also working with federal, state and local elected officials to support the many WWBIC borrowers, entrepreneurs and businesses in need of loan capital now! WWBIC is offering current loan clients affected by COVID-19 loan modification options. In some cases, these small business owners may have options for deferments, interest payments being covered, and direct grant support for payroll and rent. For more information contact Jaime Charon at jcharon@wwbic.com or WWBIC Servicing at wwbicservicing@wwbic.com. For current and new small business clients, WWBIC is offering fast track loans up to $25,000! Contact Michael Hetzel at mhetzel@wwbic.com for more details.

Hmong Chamber of Commerce

The Hmong Chamber of Commerce is offering an emergency loan fund in response to COVID-19. Small businesses can apply for a loan starting at $5,000 and up to $10,000. The business is required to have existed for a minimum of two years and be located in a low to moderate income tract or be a minority-owned business in Wisconsin. Once the application is complete, the business owner can send it and the other requirements to Yuli Her, the development coordinator, at yuli@hmongchamber.org.

State of Wisconsin Resources

  • WEDC Small Business 20/20 Grant Program - The goal of the Small Business 20/20 program is to support small businesses and micro-enterprises adversely economically impacted by COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the 2020 Grant Program.
  • WEDC: For program and other assistance available to Wisconsin business owners, please visit: https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/covid-19-response/.
  • Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (WDWD) - Click here for more information regarding Public Information for Unemployment for COVID-19.
  • Small Business Administration Updates - WEDC and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) officials are working with the Wisconsin office of the Small Business Administration to unlock federal Economic Impact Disaster Loans for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We will provide additional details on the availability of SBA funding as they become available.
  • Coronavirus Information for Partners -Answers to frequently asked questions by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
  • COVID-19: How we can help businesses - The Small Business Development Center-Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship has created a page with important information for its clients amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Department of Workforce Development - Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information

National & Federal Resources

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Nonprofit/Freelance/Artist Resources

Other Resources

  • UW Credit Union Emergency Personal Loan - For those members who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, they are offering a low-rate personal loan to help with budgeting concerns.
  • USBG National Charitable Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program - Emergency funding for bar industry staff who need financial support, can apply to the USBG National Charitable Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. USBG membership is not required to receive funds. Click here for USBG grant eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and the applications.