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 info@milwaukeedowntown.com with the name of the program and website.

 

Recovery Financing Tools

Main Street Bounceback Grants

The Main Street Bounceback Grants program provides $10,000 to new or existing businesses and non-profit organizations moving into vacant properties in Wisconsin’s downtowns and commercial corridors. Funds can be used to pay leases or mortgages, operational expenses and other business costs related to the newly opened location. The program is open to new or existing businesses opening a new location or expanding operations in a vacant commercial space as of January 1, 2021.

For more information on the Bounceback Grant eligibility and an application inquiry, please click here.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Program

The SVOG program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The SVOG targets assistance to Live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria, motion picture theater operators, talent representatives and more.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. The application portal opens on April 8, 2021. The application and more program information can be found 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.

Kiva

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.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Programs & Provisions

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) 

The EIDL program can also provide small businesses with working capital loans 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

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. 

Other Resources

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

Yelp 

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