(MADISON) — Yesterday, Gov. Evers announced $420 million in small business relief, which has the potential to help approximately 84,000 Wisconsin small businesses, and vetoed Republican attempts to slow down the distribution of American Rescue Plan funds.
The $420 million is part of the $600 million Gov. Evers plans to distribute to small businesses from the ARP – three times as much small business relief as the Republican plan would have provided. The grants will be awarded through the new Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery grant program, a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue (DOR). The ARP provided Wisconsin with a transformational $2.68 billion in state relief, plus $1.59 billion for K-12 schools and stimulus checks for 89% of adults in the state.
At the same time, Gov. Evers vetoed a set of bills passed by Republicans that would spend the ARP relief funding in ways that may not be permitted under federal law – potentially slowing down relief to small businesses and struggling Wisconsinites.
“Gov. Evers came through for Wisconsinites again – delivering $420 million for small businesses and stopping Republicans’ plans to hijack relief funding,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Nellie Sires. “Robin Vos and his Republican colleagues need to quit playing partisan games with relief funds and get on board with helping Wisconsinites through this crisis. These new grants will quickly help tens of thousands of Wisconsin businesses bounce back from the pandemic.”
Read more about Gov. Evers’ relief for Wisconsin small businesses below.
Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday vetoed a package of 11 GOP-authored bills that would have directed the Democratic governor’s use of $3.2 billion in federal stimulus money, while also announcing $420 million in grants to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evers’ veto means the governor maintains control over the use of federal funds passed earlier this year and marks the latest rift between the governor and Republicans in the Legislature over the use of stimulus dollars. It’s also the third time that the governor has shut down Republican efforts to gain control over federal stimulus funds, which Evers has sole discretion over.
State Republicans had sought to use those funds to pay down state debt, provide $200 million in assistance for small businesses and provide $1 billion in property tax relief, while Evers has pledged to spend $2.5 billion of those funds on economic relief for families, workers and small-business owners, which includes $50 million for the tourism industry and $600 million to support businesses affected by the pandemic — which includes the $420 million in grants announced Thursday.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Evers creates $420M grant program for small businesses, vetoes GOP bills to spend relief dollars
Gov. Tony Evers is using $420 million of the billions in federal relief funding heading to Wisconsin to help small businesses that lost revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evers on Thursday announced a new grant program funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act that would provide $5,000 grants to Wisconsin businesses that have an annual gross revenue between $10,000 and $7 million — about 84,000 would qualify.
“We can’t sit around and wait to get these funds out the door, and we can’t afford to let politics get in the way of getting resources and support to those who need our help,” Evers said in a statement. Evers made the announcement at the Ruby Tap wine bar in Wauwatosa.
The Democratic governor also on Thursday vetoed Republican lawmakers’ plans for the federal funding, which would have spent the money in ways that federal authorities likely won’t allow.
Associated Press: Evers vetoes GOP bills directing federal COVID-19 spending
Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a package of Republican-authored bills on Thursday that would have directed how the state would spend $3.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money.
Evers also announced that up to $420 million of that money coming to the state would go toward a grant program targeting small businesses. One of the bills he vetoed would have directed $200 million toward small businesses, an amount Evers said “won’t cut it for me.”
“Our Main Streets have been hit hard during this pandemic and we need to do everything we can to make sure they can bounce back,” Evers said in a statement.
If you own a business that has a gross revenue between $10,000 and $7 million you will be eligible for a $5,000 grant from the state.
According to Gov. Tony Evers, there are 84,000 Wisconsin businesses that fall in that range.
“We want small businesses to know that help is on the way. And once we receive federal funds, we aren’t going to wait to get these funds out quickly to help small businesses restock shelves, catch up on bills, rehire and retain workers, and continue to help keep their customers, employees, and our communities safe as we work to bounce back together,” Evers said. “We can’t sit around and wait to get these funds out the door, and we can’t afford to let politics get in the way of getting resources and support to those who need our help.”
The money is being awarded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue, using money from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.