An additional $70 million of “We’re All In” grants awarded through the state government was added to the second round of grants to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding economic downturn. The second round will award a total of $120 million to businesses. The total investment in the program is $185 million.
More than 48,000 applications were submitted for the grant funding for the second round of funding that closed in early November, according to a news release. Priority will be given to businesses that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The funding will be distributed by mid-December.
The “We're All In” program awarded more than $65 million in grants to more than 26,000 small businesses statewide during the first round of funding this summer. The program is funded through federal CARES Act dollars and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in partnership with Wisconsin Economic Development Corp (WEDC).
“In my conversations with restaurants, taverns, small retail stores, and other businesses that rely on people gathering indoors, we know that the continued surge of COVID-19 infections is deepening the strain and uncertainty these businesses have been facing since March,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes in the news release. “With thousands more businesses applying for the second phase of our ‘We’re All In’ grants than the first phase, we want to provide aid that can help these businesses carry on.”
Wisconsin-based, for-profit businesses are eligible for the program if more than 75 percent of company labor and assets are in Wisconsin, have earned less than $1 million in annual revenues, started operating prior to Jan. 1 and have filed their 2019 taxes.