WEDC Offers No-Interest Loans to Businesses Affected by July Storms

Wisconsin’s jobs agency will offer no-interest loans to businesses affected by severe storms in July. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced Wednesday that it has allocated $1 million for its Disaster Recovery Microloan Program.

Under the program, WEDC awards grants to regional planning commissions and other local designees, which can issue loans of up to $20,000 for businesses that have measurable physical damage and intend to resume normal operations in their communities as soon as possible.

A typical loan under the program would be repaid over two years, with the first payment deferred for six months or more.

Mary Gage, WEDC’s vice president of business and community development, said the loans help businesses address their immediate challenges, such as cleanup, restoration and reconstruction, as well as payroll and operating expenses.

“We want to get the money out soon, while they’re having their issues and cash flow shortages,” said Gage. “That can tide them over until more long-term recovery funding can be secured by the business.”

WEDC says local officials have already identified over 60 businesses that could qualify in Barron, Wood, Polk and Langlade counties.