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Announcements

WEDC Fab Lab Grant Recipients - Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Congratulations! WEDC FAB Lab Grant Recipients:
Poynette School District $9,222.00
Columbus School District $25,000.00 
Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant - Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Applications for up to $420 million in new Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will open at 8 a.m. Monday, May 24 through 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 7, Governor Tony Evers announced. The grants will provide as many as 84,000 Wisconsin small businesses with annual gross revenue between $10,000 and $7 million with a flat award of $5,000. read more ...
Virtual Career Fair May 11, 2021 - Thursday, May 6, 2021
Do you know someone who is unemployed? Send them the link... read more ...
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) Registration - Monday, May 3, 2021
Registration for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is now open at restaurants.sba.gov. If you are working with Square or Toast, you do not need to register. SBA will begin accepting applications via the application portal on Monday, May 3 at 12 p.m. EDT. The application portal will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.
 read more ...
SBA Portal Opens April 8, 2021 - Monday, April 5, 2021
Starting Wednesday, get SBA staff-presented updates on the PPP and other small business relief programs under the American Rescue Plan and PPP Extension Acts. There will be opportunity to ask questions.
Apr 7, 10 am Apr 15, 2 pm Apr 21, 10 am Apr 29, 3 pm
Find more information at www.sba.gov/relief and at www.sba.gov/asistencia.
Did you miss the SVOG national training last week? If you plan to apply, sign up for dedicated updates at the SVOG portal. The SVOG portal opens on April 8.
 read more ...
Drive Thru Job Fair May 5, 2021 - Monday, April 5, 2021
There will be a drive thru job fair on May 5, 2021 from 3:00-7:00pm at the Madison College in Portage, WI. Along with multiple other locations in the Madison Region. Employers are encourage to participate. Participation and additional information/cost is listed on flyer. Individuals seeking employment are encouraged to see the participant flyer or just drive thru during the job fair on May 5 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm at Madison College in Portage, WI.  read more ...
Participant Drive Thru Job Fair May 5, 2021 - Monday, April 5, 2021
Those seeking employment, please see the flyer for the upcoming Drive Thru Job Fair at Madison College on May 5, 2021 from 3:00-7:00 pm. Many employers who are hiring right now in Portage and the surrounding Madison area counties will have a flyer in the packet you will be receiving. read more ...
SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration has some key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which will be available for a limited amount of time to ensure America’s smallest businesses get exclusive access. If you are a small business owner with fewer than 20 employees, or are self-employed; there is new information for you. Please join us for a series of webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Public Private Strategies Institute, & other stakeholders to hear about:
• What steps you can take now to take advantage of this special opportunity, which closes at 5:00 P.M. EST, Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
• Additional changes and recent policy announcements made by the Biden-Harris Administration
• Have your questions answered by SBA Leadership
Schedule
• Mar. 3, 12:30 p.m. ET, Women Business Owners
• Mar. 4, 3:00 p.m. ET, Asian-American + Pacific Islander, Native American + Tribal Small Business Owners
• Mar. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET, Black + African-American Small Business Owners
• Mar. 5, 3:00 p.m. ET, Hispanic Small Business Owners
• Mar. 6, 2:00 p.m. ET, Veterans, Self-Employed Business Owners
• Mar. 8, 3:00 p.m. ET, LGTBQ Business Owners, Youth Entrepreneurs, Restaurant Owners
 read more ...
DATCP Grant Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin - Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grants - Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Applications now being accepted. Managed by DATCP, the grants can help farms and business more efficiently process, market and distribute food in local markets including stores, schools and institutions. Keeping food dollars in Wisconsin communities supports local businesses, improves farm incomes, and creates jobs.

Requests must be between $5,000 and $50,000 and be received by noon March 26. Each proposal must include a cover page, a completed budget template and a project description. Applications are available online https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/BuyLocalBuyWisconsinGrants.aspx

A total of $300,000 is available in grant funding through the program; the maximum award for each project is $50,000, and grant applicants must provide a cash or in-kind match of at least 50 percent of the total project budget. Generally, qualified applicants include individuals, groups or businesses involved in Wisconsin production agriculture, food processing, food distribution, food warehousing, retail food establishments or agricultural tourism operations. Proposals can include individual projects, collaborations or partnerships.
 read more ...
Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Groups Eligible for Vaccinations read more ...
Test Broadband Internet Speeds - Tuesday, March 2, 2021
In partnership with Measurement Lab, the DPI invites ALL residents and businesses to test their home internet speeds using M-Lab’s speed test. Data produced by the test provides broadband planning groups additional information to target improvements where internet performance is poor.

“By simply taking a few seconds to test their internet speed, Wisconsinites can help us close the digital equity gap in our state,” said DPI Assistant State Superintendent of the Division for Libraries and Technology Kurt Kiefer, a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access. “The data will help determine where improvements to internet need to be made and is essential to ensuring high-quality learning for all children.”

Participation in measuring internet speed throughout Columbia Co. and WI this is completely voluntary, but it could go a long way in helping close the digital equity gap across the state. I encourage folks, especially those I’ve helped in rural areas with poor connectivity, to share this with others. It may not seem like much yet performing this simple test will help to paint a more accurate picture of the state’s actual broadband connectivity network.
 read more ...
PSC Energy Innovation Grant Program - Thursday, January 7, 2021
The Public Service Commission (PSC) has made available the Energy Innovation Grant Program to help businesses who are planning to deploy technology to reduce their energy consumption, invest in renewable energy related initiatives or bolster their preparedness and resiliency in energy systems.

Eligible Applicants include: Manufacturers, Municipalities, Universities, Schools, Hospitals, and Like Entities (MUSH Market): cities, villages, towns, counties, K-12 school districts, tribes, municipal water and wastewater utilities, municipal electric utilities, municipal natural gas utilities, University of Wisconsin System campuses and facilities, Wisconsin Technical College System, public or nonprofit hospitals, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

Applications are due at 12:00pm CDT on January 22, 2021!​
 read more ...
We're All In Grant - Phase 3 Restaurants - Friday, December 4, 2020
Gov. Tony Evers announced restaurants and other targeted small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive $45 million in assistance through the program, We’re All In For Restaurants. Unlike previous We’re All In grants, businesses will not have to apply for the grants, but will be identified and contacted directly by the Department of Revenue (DOR) based on the businesses’ state tax records. The program will target businesses with annual revenues of more than $1 million and less than $7 million, while previous state grant programs have focused on businesses with annual revenues of less than $1 million. This program brings the total assistance distributed to Wisconsin businesses this year to more than $220 million. read more ...
Economic Impact of COVID-19 Survey 8 - Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Your feedback is very important in helping us understand the full disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This month's feedback is especially important as we continue to map both the effects of an recovery from the early stages of the pandemic. To learn more about the survey, and potentially participate, click the link. read more ...
Longwoods Tourism Report - Wednesday, November 25, 2020
According to the most recent Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, the challenges continue to mount for the tourism industry:
• 77% of them are changing their travel plans because of the pandemic, the highest percentage since mid-July
• Concern about catching or spreading coronavirus during a trip has jumped to 60% of travelers, up from 53% a month ago.
• 39% of travelers feels safe venturing outside their local communities, the lowest level since mid-August
The percentage of travelers who support opening their local communities to visitors dropped from 39% to 32% in the past two weeks, the lowest level in months.
 read more ...
Main Street Wisconsin - Online Business Portal - Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Good news for all our small businesses that offer ecommerce and shipping options – the MainStreetWI.com online retail portal is expanding statewide. WEDC is hoping to identify additional businesses that should be added to the site to allow Wisconsinites to shop local when they are shopping online this holiday season. read more ...
Governor Evers - Executive Order 94 - Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Staying home. All individuals should stay home as much as possible
and only make trips when necessary, such as to go to work, pick up
groceries, or refill prescriptions.  
Federal Reserve Banks Districts - current economic conditions - Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Beige Book
Informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.
Released by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
 read more ...
Gov. Evers Directs Department of Health Services to Limit Indoor Public Gatherings - Tuesday, October 6, 2020
This directive is effective at 8 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2020, and will remain in effect until Nov. 6, 2020, and applies to any gatherings at locations that are open to the public such as stores, restaurants, and other businesses that allow public entry, as well as spaces with ticketed events. A frequently asked questions document is available for review. read more ...
Gov. Evers Directs Department of Health Services to Limit Indoor Public Gatherings - Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue Emergency Order #3 limiting public gatherings to no more than 25 percent of a room or building’s total occupancy. See full the order and list of exemptions. This directive is effective at 8 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2020, and will remain in effect until Nov. 6, 2020, and applies to any gatherings at locations that are open to the public such as stores, restaurants, and other businesses that allow public entry, as well as spaces with ticketed events. A frequently asked questions document is available.
 read more ...
Longwoods Tourism Report - Tuesday, September 15, 2020
According to the most recent Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, half of them feel safe to travel this fall season. And two thirds of those who plan to travel will be visiting friends and relatives, while 58% plan on a road trip somewhere in the U.S. Outdoor activities are preferred during pandemic travels, such as visiting national and state parks, fall foliage tours, hiking and biking. read more ...
Encourage Wisconsinites Who Lost Health Insurance Anytime this Year to Enroll  - Tuesday, September 15, 2020
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency, allowing people who lost coverage through their employer and were previously prevented from enrolling in coverage due to COVID-19 to apply for coverage through an extended special enrollment period read more ...
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance still available - Tuesday, August 4, 2020
People who are self-employed may be able to apply for (PUA) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if affected by COVID-19. Please see the following sites for requirements:
https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/pua/
https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/publications/ui/pua-18774-p.pdf
 read more ...
Wisconsin Face Covering Order - Friday, July 31, 2020
Read for more information... read more ...
Wisconsin Department of Tourism - Wave 16 Report - Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Longwoods just released wave 16 of their COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Study.  read more ...
Extension of Paycheck Protection Program - Tuesday, July 14, 2020
The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications July 6, 2020, at 9:00 AM EDT in response to President Trump signing the program's extension legislation. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020. read more ...
Wisconsin Department of Tourism Report - Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Are you wondering how Tourism in Wisconsin is doing? read more ...
SBA - Restaurants and Bars Still Struggle - Wednesday, July 1, 2020
See Small Business Facts Sheet read more ...
Complete Your 2020 Census - Friday, June 19, 2020
For every person not counted, your county stands to lose $18,000 per decade ($1,800 per year) in government funding. Fill out your Census forms!  read more ...
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Reopening - Monday, June 15, 2020
To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today. read more ...
Wisconsin Farm Support Program - Monday, June 15, 2020
The Wisconsin Farm Support Program is a federally funded program that will provide $50 million of relief to farmers that suffered economic damages in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out how to apply. read more ...
Federal Reserve Board Expands Main Street Lending Program - Monday, June 8, 2020
Allows more Small & Medium-sized Businesses to be able to receive support read more ...
Farmers Market Guidance - Friday, June 5, 2020
Guidance is from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Department of Health Services (DHS), and was provided by Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association (WATA). read more ...
New COVID-19 OSHA Guidance for Construction Industry - Wednesday, May 27, 2020
U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Issues Guidance to Help Construction Workers During the Coronavirus Pandemic read more ...
USDA to Provide $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers - Friday, May 22, 2020
$1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA BusinessCol & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act read more ...
Supreme Court Overturns Safer at Home Order - Friday, May 15, 2020
Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Gov. Evers' Safer at Home Order read more ...
Wisconsin Safety Council - COVID-19 Information - Friday, May 15, 2020
WSC - Returning to Work 8 Steps read more ...
Columbia County to follow Supreme Court Decision - Friday, May 15, 2020
Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the Safer at Home Emergency Order #28 read more ...
CDC Issues Decision Tools for Guidance in Reopening - Friday, May 15, 2020
Check out tools for each type of business to help you reopen. read more ...
WEDC Reopening Guidelines for Various Businesses - Friday, May 15, 2020
Downloadable Files for each Sector read more ...
Governor Evers Announcement - #36 Turning the Dial further - Monday, May 11, 2020
EMERGENCY ORDER #36 Interim Order to Turn the Dial
Allows all standalone or strip-mall based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time while maintaining required social distancing practices. Additionally, allows drive-in theaters to operate with some restrictions. All businesses must continue to follow all safety precautions and guidelines as outlined in the Safer at Home order.
 read more ...
WEDC Reopen Guidelines for Businesses - Monday, May 11, 2020
In addition to the requirements outlined in Order #36 and Safer at Home, all essential and nonessential businesses must review and consider the Wisconsin Department of Economic Development guidelines on safe business practices, available here.  read more ...
Wisconsin Restaurant Organization Resources for Restaurants Reopening - Friday, May 8, 2020
WRA has developed information and resources to help restaurants think through some important issues and have useful tools on-hand to be prepared when it is possible to reopen.
 read more ...