Wisconsin Small Businesses to Get Boost in Federal Funds

Hundreds of new companies have been founded in Wisconsin since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the state is getting nearly $80 million to support those startups and small businesses.

Governor Tony Evers is allocating $50 million of those funds to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or WEDC, which plans to create a new Wisconsin Investment Fund. The money comes from the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Evers administration will also allocate the money to some of WEDC’s existing programs. Its Technology Development Loan program will receive $8 million. The Capital Catalyst program, which focuses on supporting nonprofit lenders, will get an additional $6 million.

About 500 new businesses have formed on average each month in the state since the summer of 2020, but leaders still face a tight labor market and inflation.

The WEDC is also working with the Wisconsin Housing Economic Development Authority, which received $15 million to improve access to capital and credit for small businesses that receive microloans from Community Development Financial Institutions.