Economic Resources and Programs

Economic Support

Being a resource to businesses is a top priority for Milwaukee Downtown. We've been working around the clock to gather information on loans, grants and other financial packages to assist businesses in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. This resources page is updated regularly and provides links to local, state and federal relief programs. To request that a resource be added to the list, email with the name of the program and website.

Recovery Financing Tools

We're All In Small Business Grant - Phase 2

Building on the success of the Phase 1 grants, the State of Wisconsin is making a second round of We’re All In Grants available for up to $5,000 per eligible business. The We're All In Small Business Grant Phase 2 program is designed to help small businesses re-emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, while also encouraging adoption of best practices to keep employees, customers, and communities safe. The new grants are being administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in partnership with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Applications will be accepted between 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 19 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 2. Learn more about the program eligibility requirements, and apply online here.

Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve established the Main Street Lending Program (Program) to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program will operate through three facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF), the Main Street Priority Loan Facility (MSPLF), and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF). Term sheets for each facility and information regarding eligibility and conditions can be found by clicking here.

WWBIC COVID-19 Fast Track Loan Program

This new WWBIC program is focused on existing businesses looking for business financing during COVID-19. Business owners have two options to pick from depending on their needs: a line of credit up to $10,000 or a term loan up to $15,000. Click here for more information, eligibility requirements, and the application.

Business For All Grants 

Led by Hello Alice, with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay, and small business owners and advocates across America, Business for All is providing $10,000 to $50,000 grants, expert mentorship, a strong community, and a comprehensive suite of small business resources. Click here for qualifications and the application. Business for All Grant applications are due November 10, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. PT. 


Kiva has expanded lending terms and eligibility to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Downtown businesses in our communities that are women-, minority- and/or veteran-owned are also eligible for a 50% match from WEDC to expedite their loan. Encourage your businesses to apply, and/or sign up to be a lender yourself here.

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Click here for more info or apply for benefits online here.

For those that are temporarily unemployed because of the coronavirus, consider applying to the following positions: 

Small Business Administration (SBA) CARES Act Programs & Provisions

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Loan Advancement

Small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 (which may be forgivable), even while your EIDL application may still be in process.

The EIDL program can also provide small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue small businesses are experiencing. Click here for more information and eligibility requirements. The application can be found here

This video features step-by-step instructions for the SBA EIDL Application.

In addition to the specific programs listed above, visit the SBA website for additional programs that may be helpful to your small business.

Bank Resources

American Bankers Association (ABA)

American Bankers Association is compiling a list of publicly announced steps for banks of all sizes to respond to the crisis. Click here for more info. 

Associated Bank 

For both consumers and small business owner members, they have created a COVID-19 Relief Program, designed to alleviate some of the financial hardships you may face as a result of illness or workplace changes. Click here for more info. 

Restaurant, Bar and Service Staff Support 

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation 

The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation is planning to launch a relief fund that will be available to anyone in the United States. The site currently features other resources for restaurant workers.

One Fair Wage

One Fair Wage is providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money they are currently not receiving due to COVID-19. 

For a list of relief funds for restaurant, bar and food service workers, visit Eater's comprehensive list

Other Resources

Facebook Business Resource Hub & Gift Card Support Platform

Facebook knows that your business may be experiencing disruptions and to help has created a resource hub with quick tips, tailored industry guides, small business network groups and more. Facebook is also making it easy to create an online gift card platform for your business so that your customers can support your business through gift card purchases today. Click here for details and to get started. 

Temporary Restaurant Carryout Program 

To assist restaurants that currently do not have a loading zone adjacent to their business, the City of Milwaukee has implemented a temporary program to provide "Restaurant Carryout Zones". Click here to view program information and complete the online form. 

All Class B and Class C establishments are currently allowed to sell sealed containers of alcohol to go. The hours are the same as those allowed under a Class A establishment (liquor/grocery store), which are 8am – 9pm, as long as the individual license for that business allows those hours. Beer and wine can be sold in unlimited quantities, while there is a 4 liter restriction per customer for liquor. Curbside service is allowed for those establishments that already hold a Sidewalk Dining Facility Permit that extends to the area where alcohol will be given to the customer. Businesses without a sidewalk café would be required to obtain a Temporary Change to the Plan of Operation permit


Small businesses, in the form of independent restaurants and bars, are eligible for in-kind advertising assistance. Click here for more info.