The Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship has created this page to anchor important information for our clients amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supporting small business owners is what we do, and that is more critical than ever at this time. Below you can find information and resources that could be useful.
If you are a client, reach out to the consultant or staffer you already work with.
If you’re new to us, you can contact us or call the Business Answerline, 800-940-7232.
Or you can reach out to our program units:
- Small Business Development Center Network (COVID-19 help page, contact us or find your center)
- Center for Technology Commercialization
- Food Finance Institute (online huddles every Monday for consultants and entrepreneurs, free online cashflow course)
- Center for Business Intelligence
- Business Dynamics Research Consortium
Note: Staff at the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship recently updated email addresses to @business.wisconsin.edu, but if you see or have used a @uwex.edu email address to reach us, those emails will be forwarded to our new accounts through June.
Events, classes and programs
Many in-person events and classes have been canceled or postponed across the University of Wisconsin System, which is posting updates on a regular basis. Our program units follow the guidance of their host campus or institution.
Our Events will be updated as soon as possible, and our staff are working hard to share updates with clients as quickly as they can.
If you have a question about an upcoming class that you have registered for or are interested in, contact the organizer for more information.
- WEDC Resources for Business and Employers:
- Reopen Guidelines (general and industry-specific)
- PPE Supplier Network
- We’re All In Small Business Grants: 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 June 15-21.
- Related: Wisconsin Economic Development Association Road to Recovery recommendations
- Wisconsin Bankers Association 5 things you can do right now
- Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and Wisconsin Safety Council
- Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
- WBD Small Business Resources
- WWBIC Online Classes
- Wisconsin LGBT Chamber
- Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce emergency fund
Federal guidance and resources to help your business respond to COVID-19. The agencies will be updating their pages regularly as regulations and processes change:
- Federal Resources for Small Businesses, a website with multiple agency resources
- SBA Guidance and Resources
- CDC Guidance for Reopening
- CDC Interim Guidance
- Department of Labor Resources
- IRS and Tax Relief
- IRS Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act
- Farmers.gov USDA COVID-19 Resources
- Coronavirus Recovery Information in Other Languages
National Small Business Assistance
- America’s SBDC (ASBDC) Small Business Resources and Tips for Businesses
- FREE Spanish webinars on topics of interest to those affected by COVID-19 (provided by Puerto Rico SBTDC)Business Interruption Insurance
- American Express’ “Stay Home & Shop Small” materials for small businesses
- LinkedIn FREE Small Business Resources
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- Google’s tips for small businesses
Ways to support small businesses
Many consumers are looking for ways to support small businesses when they have been forced to close, offer limited hours/delivery or make other adjustments to prevent the spread of the virus.
It’s hard to know for sure what you can do when conditions change by the hour, but the following suggestions can be helpful:
- Buy gift cards now and use them later. (See Gannett’s portal for Wisconsin cities to buy. Check Madison.com’s directory to connect.)
- Shop local merchants online if possible.
- Use delivery or pick-up for those businesses who are offering it.
- Tip generously if you can.
- Show your support by liking, commenting and sharing local business’ social media messages.
- Be kind and thankful to your local businesses. Small gestures mean a lot.