More than $240M awarded to Wisconsin businesses through WEDC grant program

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MADISON, Wis. — Small businesses throughout Wisconsin were collectively awarded roughly $240 million in aid last year through the state’s We’re All In grant program.

Run by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the grant program is the largest small business aid program in WEDC history, according to a news release. Nearly 55,000 businesses received some economic relief through the program.

“Wisconsin’s small businesses have exemplified remarkable resilience throughout this pandemic, finding new, innovative ways to keep the doors open and the lights on. But it wasn’t easy, and I am glad we were able to provide this critically needed support,” Gov. Tony Evers said. “We aren’t out of the woods just yet, and it is vital that we continue to support our local businesses and their employees to help them get through these tough times.”

The We’re All In grants, which were funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, were awarded to businesses in three phases throughout 2020. The first round of grants, totaling $65 million, were sent to more than 26,000 businesses statewide. Businesses received $2,500 each as part of the first round.

The second round, which was distributed in the fall of 2020, provided $5,000 grants to more than 26,000 businesses, many of which did not receive grants in the first round.

Grants in the first two rounds of the program were aimed at businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue.

In late 2020, WEDC worked to distribute grants to Wisconsin’s restaurants hit by the pandemic. Eligible restaurants with annual revenues between $1 million and $7 million received $20,000. More than 2,000 businesses received funding in the third round.

“The intent for all of the We’re All In grants was to get help to as many small businesses as we could, as quickly as we could,” WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said. “I’m pleased WEDC was able to work with DOR to help us identify many of the businesses that were struggling the most.”

A list of the businesses that received funding and the amounts they received is available online.