|MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that one thousand ethnically diverse micro-businesses that have suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive grants of $2,000 each under a new state program.
The $2 million initiative is focused on supporting ethnically diverse micro-businesses that have not received SBA Paycheck Protection Program or state disaster relief.
“Small businesses in our minority communities face special challenges,” Gov. Evers said. “Many have not received federal or state assistance yet because they are unbanked or don’t have the relationships to financial institutions that other businesses do. Yet these micro-businesses are often the heart and soul of their communities and an important pathway for minority entrepreneurs.”
Businesses may apply if they:
The Ethnic Minority Emergency Grants will be marketed and administered in collaboration with Wisconsin’s 19 ethnic and diverse chambers of commerce, regional economic development organizations and other partners across the state.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will provide funding for the initiative.
“WEDC is committed to assisting all businesses – of every size and type — throughout Wisconsin,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “Our work with minority chambers of commerce and businesses is an opportunity to reach a critical sector of our business community.”
“The support from WEDC is a huge win for ethnic businesses in the State of Wisconsin,” said Marjorie Rucker, Executive Director of The Business Council, Inc. “Formulating partnerships with entities such as WEDC to provide grants to small ethnic businesses in the service, hospitality and retail industry during this crisis shows a real understanding and true leadership of our partners and our state leaders.”
More information about the program is available from the organizations listed in the FAQ, available here.