Milwaukee, Wis. – Today, Governor Tony Evers announced $15.7 million in grants as part of a second round of funding to chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations providing assistance to small businesses in communities across the state that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Fourteen organizations will receive new grants of up to $3.1 million to provide investment, technical and operation assistance, and access to opportunities for diverse small businesses, including rural, veteran-owned, and LGBT-owned businesses.
“Our goal has always been working to ensure that our state’s economy works for everyone, and that includes as we’ve recovered and rebounded from this pandemic,” said Governor Tony Evers. “These grants will help do just that by supporting diverse small businesses, helping ensure our local economies continue to grow and flourish. When we invest in small businesses in our state, we’re also investing in local jobs, strengthening local supply chains, and fostering innovation and growth that build strong communities for years to come.”
The announcement was made at the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace in Milwaukee, an entrepreneurial hub representing over 25 small black-owned businesses. DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld, DOT Secretary Craig Thompson, and representatives from the Chayil Corporation, Manufacturing Diversity Institute, National Association of Minority Contractors, and the Sherman Phoenix Foundation along with local stakeholders and business owners attended the event.
“Thanks to Governor Evers, small businesses across the state will have the support they need to succeed for years to come,” said DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld. “Today’s investment means tomorrow’s entrepreneurs will be able to create even more opportunities in their communities and build back stronger.”
“Our diverse business enterprise development efforts have a direct and practical impact on WisDOT’s goal of providing a world-class transportation system for the people of Wisconsin,” Secretary of Transportation Craig Thompson said. “By increasing the number of firms that can successfully compete for state contracts, we help ensure that the most capable firms are doing the work on time and on budget.”
Part of a more than $1 billion investment allocated by the Governor for economic resilience and support for small businesses and impacted industries, the Diverse Business Assistance program was first announced in October 2021 to support equitable economic recovery statewide. The Diverse Business Assistance Grant program is administered by the DOA and funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The first round of announcements was made in March 2022.
“Moving Wisconsin’s economy forward requires creating an environment where everyone can unlock their full potential,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. “Under Governor Evers’ leadership, Wisconsin has been investing in our people through programs like the Diverse Business Assistance grants, Main Street Bounceback and Workforce Innovation Grants. These grants open up new funding for businesses, create education opportunities and address barriers to workforce success including access to child care, housing and transportation.”
A complete list of grant awardees and additional information can be found at https://doa.wi.gov/pages/
Visit BadgerBounceback.wi.gov to view pandemic-related assistance information for you, your business, organization, and community, as well as the latest data and success stories about how COVID-relief investments are making a difference across the state. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.