We know that COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is top of mind for every entrepreneur, corporate partner, and supporter in our state. This page is intended to provide Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce members with financial, operational, and healthcare resources regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
We know there are so many resources and programs out there for businesses that it might be confusing and you don’t even know where to start. That is why we are offering free virtual individual 1:1 consultation sessions to all members to help navigate the financial and resource support programs available for businesses, entrepreneurs, and organizations.
Individual 30-minute consultations will include information on business aid programs, business loan programs, state and federal funding grants, and more. We encourage you to sign up for a time now here.
In addition, we recently surveyed members of the impact of COVID-19 on their business. You can see the results of that survey here.
This page will continue to be updated as information is shared. The date of last update was Friday, May 29 at 11:26 a.m. If you know of a resource which should be added to this page or if you want to share how COVID-19 has impacted your workplace, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official Resources on COVID-19
Information and resources from government departments and agencies broader than the specific needs of small businesses, nonprofits, and other establishments.
- Wisconsin Governor’s Office: Wisconsin COVID-19 Information
State run website with resources, information, FAQs and more. Regularly updated.
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Health Information
State run website with resources on COVID-19 testing, healthcare, and more.
- Center for Disease Control: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
General information for businesses and employers created by the Center for Disease Control.
- World Health Organization (WHO): COVID-19 Updates
Resource which includes global updates and training webinars.
- U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship: Small Business Owner’s Guide to the Cares Act
A comprehensive guide on Small Business Association Programs, Paycheck Protection Program, and common questions regarding federal and SBA funding requirements.
- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin: Information for Workers/Families and Information for Businesses
Senator Baldwin provides information on the CARES Act and other federal resources to workers and businesses.
- Governor Evers: Badger Bounce Back Plan
Badger Bounce Back is Wisconsin’s plan to decrease COVID-1i cases and deaths to a new level and increase capacity in our health care system so that a phased reopening of businesses is possible. The plan details specific requirements and next steps.
Support for your Business and Organization
Information and resources on support and direct assistance for your business or organization (includes small businesses, non-profits, performers, freelancers, gig workers, and more).
- Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: Strategies and Resources for Small Businesses and Community Groups
This guide is designed to serve as a repository of ideas, tips and best practices compiled from local, state and national resources to allow these communities to survive and thrive in light of current and rapidly changing circumstances.
- Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: We’re All In Small Business Grant
Funded largely by the CARES Act, this $75 million initiative will provide $2,500 grants to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. Businesses will be able to apply in early June.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Disaster Loan Assistance
The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Click here to see a PowerPoint for additional information.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program
This pilot program allows SBA Express Lenders authority to deliver expedited SBA-guaranteed financing on an emergency basis for disaster-related purposes to eligible small businesses, while the small businesses apply for and await long-term financing.
- Federal Reserve: Main Street Lending Program
The Federal Reserve has announced that it is establishing a 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. U.S. businesses may be eligible for loans if they meet either of the following conditions: (1) the business has 15,000 employees or fewer; or (2) the business had 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less. Principal and interest payments on the loans will be deferred for one year.
- Small Business Development Center: Resources and Assistance
The SBDCs all across the state provide no-cost consulting to new and existing businesses. Your local center will have the most up to date resources and information about applying for such programs as the SBA Disaster Loan funds. Additionally, they can help you plan for the future and put together contingency plans for the present.
- WWBIC: COVID-19 Fast Track Loan Program
The WWBIC COVID-19 Fast Track Loan 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 or a term loan. Line of credit has a minimum of $5,000, maximum of $10,000. The term loan has a minimum of $5,000, maximum of $15,000. Learn more.
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation: Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
Funding from Verizon to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19 earmarked for women entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs of color, minority-owned businesses, and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Applications begin May 14th.
- Winnebago County: COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan
The Winnebago County COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program (RRL) aims to assist businesses in Winnebago County that are negatively affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. The low-interest loan helps keep businesses financially solvent while complying with the enforced restrictions.
- Fitchburg Community and Economic Development Authority: Forward Fitchburg Biz Boost Loan Program
Loan program that is available to Fitchburg small businesses that have 1-25 employees. This loan program is intended to assist with the costs of relaunching business operations, including the necessary health and safety protocols. This loan program is for 30 months and provides for 6 months with no payments or interest.
- The Chamber of Manitowoc County: Manitowoc COVID-19 Business Relief Fund
A fund for businesses in the Two Rivers/Manitowoc area. It is designed to benefit locally owned and operated small businesses directly impacted by restrictions imposed on operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Relief Fund will provide discretionary funds of up to $2,500 for those employing 1 to 4 FTE and up to $5,000 with 5-10 FTE.
- United Way of Milwaukee and Waukesha County: COVID-19 Urgent Needs Grant
Available to United Way partner nonprofits who have additional needs due to COVID-19 and can be used for staffing, cleaning supply costs, medical equipment, and more.
- United Way of Fox Cities: Community Response Fund
The fund within the Community Foundation supports local nonprofit and other community organizations engaging in immediate basic needs relief, short-term response, and longer-term recovery in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago counties impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Greater Milwaukee Foundation: MKE Responds Fund
The Milwaukee Responds Fund will provide resources to organizations working in the Greater Milwaukee area with communities disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this pandemic.
- USBG National Foundation: Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
Fund for out of work bartenders or other bar staff.
- Restaurant Workers Community Foundation: Fund and Resources
A dedicated page with information and resources to help restaurants and restaurant workers deal effectively with the COVID-19 emergency including a fund for restaurant owners, restaurant employees, and non-profit organizations.
- National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
Through the National Restaurant Association the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund will provide $500 grants to industry employees to assist with a decrease or loss of wages or other essential costs of restaurants.
- Dane County: Small Business Pandemic Support Program
The Dane County Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program, administered by Dane Buy Local, is available for small businesses experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. There is $250,000 of available funding to support Dane County locally-owned small businesses or nonprofit with employee retention and to mitigate losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant awards will range from $1,000 to $50,000.
- Brew City Match: COVID-19 Small Business Grant
This grant provides up to $1,200 to assist small businesses with rent and payroll support. Any retail, restaurant, or service business within the program area is eligible to apply. The program area is the neighborhoods of Clarke Square, Near West Side, Lindsay Heights, and Historic King Drive in Milwaukee.
- Brew City Match: COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
Loans for small businesses for amounts between $5,000-$10,000 at 0% interest. Any retail, restaurant, or service business within the program area is eligible to apply. The program area is the neighborhoods of Clarke Square, Near West Side, Lindsay Heights, and Historic King Drive in Milwaukee.
- Hello Alice: COVID-19 Business for All Grant
A grant created to help small business owners affected by the pandemic. The grant amount is $10,000 and is sponsored in part by Hello Alice, Verizon, and EBay.
- WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Toolkit for Agricultural Organizations
This guide is intended to serve as a resource for agricultural organizations as they prepare for potential impacts of COVID-19 on their business operations.
- Impact Seven: Business Lending
Impact Seven has assembled a group of funds from public and private sources to create a small business lending pool. This fund is designed to assist growing and emerging businesses in our Wisconsin communities and can be used for land and building purchase, construction or improvements; working capital, inventory, supplies, machinery and equipment.
- Wisconsin Business Innovation Corporation: Wisconsin Rural Enterprise Fund
The Wisconsin Business Innovation Corporation encourages the development of technology-based companies in rural Wisconsin. WBIC provides access to both debt and equity financing to new or starting rural businesses.
- Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation: Business Loans
WWBIC makes loans to small and microbusinesses up to $250,000. They work with all business owners to analyze their financial needs and provide support during loan processes.
- Kiva: Small Business Loans
Kiva is an international organization that provides 0% interest loans to small businesses and organizations.
Resources for Employees and the Public
Access to public benefits, protections against discrimination, specific supports, and more
- US Department of Health & Human Services: Understanding Special Health Care Enrollment Periods
A Special Enrollment Period may let you enroll in health coverage outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period, or during Open Enrollment for an earlier coverage start date.
- US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division: Information on COVID-19 and Federal Labor and Family Leave Laws
The Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to influenza, pandemics, or other public health emergencies, and their effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
- WI Department of Workforce Development: Unemployment Application
This page contains the application for those eligible to apply for unemployment.
- WI Department of Workforce Development: Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is a state agency charged with building and strengthening Wisconsin’s workforce and includes resources about who qualifies for unemployment in case of COVID-19 disruptions or shut downs. **NOTE: Governor Evers has recently issued an Executive Order that eases the access to unemployment. More information.
- Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a new temporary federal program that provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance such as individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited recent work history, and other not covered by regular unemployment.
- Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development: Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is a temporary program that provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments to individuals who have exhausted their regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
- National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have demonstrated being financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. These grants will be made on a first-come first-served basis, subject to availability of funds. 100% of the Fund’s proceeds will go to providing grants to restaurant workers.
- Mid-State Insurance: Update on Paid Employee Leave
This fact sheet from Mid-State Insurance provides information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) into law. The Act requires employers to provide paid leave for some employees related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, among other measures.
- Children’s Community Health Plan: Individual and Family Plans
Together Children’s Community Health Plan (CCHP) is a Wisconsin-based health plan that offers affordably priced health insurance to individuals and families. They have 122,000 members enrolled in the Medicaid (BadgerCare) plan, and offer health insurance coverage in southeast Wisconsin select counties in northeast Wisconsin. CCHP is currently enrolling new members who may be effective by COVID19.
- Public Service Commission: Internet Resources for Wisconsin Residents during Public Health Emergency
Several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are offering free or low-cost internet access options in response to the COVID-19 health emergency. These services are offered in the areas each ISP serves, or as otherwise described.
- Public Service Commission: Utility Disconnections
The Public Service Commission is here to help with utility disconnections during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
- NGLCC and Wisconsin LGBT Chamber: Best Practices for Working from Home
The National LGBT Chamber and the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber produced a short document with best practices for working from home.
- Internal Revenue Service: Federal Tax Deadlines
Federal tax payment deadline has been extended for 90 days. The filing deadline remains April 15th. The U.S. Treasury Secretary has outlined a program that will allow corporations and individuals an additional 90 days to pay any taxes due on their 2019 income tax returns. While details are yet forthcoming, the 90-day extension to pay the tax due will be applied automatically and no interest or penalties will be charged.
These are additional resources that have been submitted that may be of interest to you, your business, your employees, or others.
- Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce: Webinar for Businesses and COVID-19
The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar for members that included State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, the United States Small Business Administration, WEDC, Husch Blackwell and more. The webinar took place on March 25, 2020.
- NGLCC Resources: Business and Employers COVID-19 Plan
The National LGBT Chamber hosts a page with resources for businesses and employers during COVID-19 outbreak including legislative updates, information, and more.
- Husch Blackwell: COVID-19 Response Team Resource Page
Husch Blackwell has launched a COVID-19 response team providing insight to businesses as they address challenges related to the coronavirus outbreak. Drawn together from numerous legal disciplines, practices and industries, our attorneys will produce regular content and develop programming to assist clients and other interested parties across multiple areas of operations.
- Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren: Coronavirus Resource Page
Reinhart has assembled a cross-disciplinary team of attorneys dedicated to helping you face the unique legal challenges and business implications raised by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Representing a broad range of practice areas, our team is committed to providing you the most up-to-date information and legal counsel as we navigate this unprecedented crisis together.
- Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart Attorney Group: Covid-19 FAQs on Federal Labor and Employment Laws
Comprehensive guide that includes federal guidance for employers on: ADA, attendance, COVID-19 Confidentiality, Worker’s Compensation, and more as it relates to COVID-19.
- Gimbel Reilly Guerin & Brown, LLP: COVID-19 Resource Page
Our team of attorneys is doing their best to stay abreast of legal developments regarding COVID-19. We are accessible to provide you with the legal help you need during these uncertain times. We are prepared to help you find answers to your questions and solutions to the issues you are facing
- von Briesen & Roper, s.c.: COVID-19 von Briesen Task Force Resource Page
To help clients navigate the difficult challenges resulting from the pandemic, they have formed a COVID-19 Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of a cross-section of our firm’s leadership in the areas of Labor and Employment, Government, Health and Business and Tax. The Task Force has created this dedicated page as a space where clients and visitors can find information on COVID-19.
- Advocate Aurora Health: COVID-19 Response Resource Site
This resource has been created where you will find helpful information from our expert physicians about steps you can take to prevent the spread of the virus and what to do if you suspect you have it.
- WhizBang!: Retailer Forum
WhizBang created an online forum for small retailers. From now until the pandemic subsides, they will be hosting a free call-in event Tuesdays at 12 p.m. Central to allow small retailers to share ideas and best practices.
- Statewide Resources: 211 Orgs
211 is a social services hotline that works with local, state, and federal resources.
- Mental Health America of Wisconsin: Resource Directory
Mental health resources with listing of resources by county.
- Covering Wisconsin: County Community Resources
An online directory of county community resources across the state.
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber Event Updates
The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber is committed to do all we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our members, staff, and program participants. As a safety precaution due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s office will be closed until further notice. All Wisconsin LGBT Chamber staff members are currently working from home and available via email.
Many of our events have been canceled, while others have been moved to virtual formats. You are encouraged to frequently check out our event calendar. We will continue to make decisions on future event cancelations based on guidance from the CDC and local health experts.
We will continue to update this page as additional information and resources are available. We are here to support your business as best we can during this difficult time.