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LA CROSSE, Wis.— As Wisconsin’s small businesses begin the long road to recovery, a few of them were joined yesterday by U.S. Representative Ron Kind for a conversation about how the American Rescue Plan is providing critical relief for small businesses across the Badger State.
“This has been an incredibly hard year, especially for those in the service industry, whether it’s the Smokehouse or Pearl Street Brewery, they’ve been devastated from all of this,” said Rep. Kind. “And the CARES Act last year that we passed, now the American Rescue Plan was again meant to provide some short-term assistance to the small businesses to keep their operations going until we can get this economy fully firing again.”
“When I heard about the American Rescue Plan, more specifically the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, that’s taking a massive step into funneling funds to the hospitality industry, which has been so heavily impacted that it will take many, many years to recover. I’m really excited about what this is going to bring,” said Tami Plourde, co-owner of Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse.
“We have a plan now. We’re not out of the woods yet, but it looks much brighter now than it did a year ago, even six months ago. We’re experiencing an uptick in our numbers as far as customers coming back, due to vaccinations that are taking place. It’s an exciting time,” said Darren Price, owner of BP Smokehouse in Tomah and Opportunity Wisconsin steering committee member.
Olivia Herken, La Crosse Tribune
Rylie Kyhn, WXOW
Isabella Hulsizer, WKBT
Brad Williams, WIZM
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Last week, Governor Tony Evers announced a plan to utilize $3.2 billion in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to help businesses and families affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with over $600 million dedicated specifically to small businesses.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, 400,000 small businesses across the country have closed and millions more are hanging by a thread. The American Rescue Plan provides emergency grants, lending, and investment to hard-hit small businesses so they can rehire and retain workers and purchase the health and sanitation equipment they need to keep workers safe.
The American Rescue Plan Act includes more funding and support for Wisconsin small businesses:
Establishes a $28 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which will provide grants to help local restaurants keep their doors open and keep their workers employed.
Adds $15 billion for the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance program to help the hardest-hit small businesses.
Reauthorizes the State Small Business Credit Initiative, providing $10 billion in new funding for the program to help small businesses grow and create jobs.
Provides an additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expands eligibility for nonprofits and digital news outlets.
Provides an additional $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to support live entertainment venues.
Allows businesses that received PPP loans in 2021 to be eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program.
Establishes the Community Navigator pilot program to improve access to COVID-19 relief, especially for underserved communities.
Read more here about how the American Rescue Plan is working for Wisconsin.