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Help is still available to businesses impacted by COVID-19 orders

For small businesses impacted by Safer at Home orders meant to restrict the spread of COVID-19, there are several federal and state programs — some ongoing and others recently launched — to help.

Paycheck Protection Program

Very, very big news, there are still Paycheck Protection Program dollars available from the federal CARES Acts — roughly $100 billion still available.

PPP is a program that offers a forgivable loan for businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

Andy Donahue, director of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Superior, speaking during at a Thursday, May 28, webinar sponsored by the Sawyer County/Lac Courte Oreilles Economic Development Corporation (SC/LCOEDC) said there are

roughly $100 billion PPP dollars available.

Donahue said the PPP portal, via a local bank to the Small Business Association, will receive applications until June 30.

The PPP is currently in its second phase of funding. The first phase dollars, $350 billion, were quickly distributed and then Congress and the President approved a second round of $300 billion; $100 billion is still available to applicants.

PPP is accessed through a local bank preapproved by the SBA.

Also speaking at the webinar, Mike Stamp, president of Peoples Bank Midwest, said all those who applied for PPP through his bank were approved and the bank continues to received two to three applications a day.

PPP is a forgivable loan based on the condition that 75 percent of the dollars are spent on employee-related expenses, such as salaries, benefits and vacation, and 25 percent can be used for specific areas, such as business mortgage interest and rent or lease expenses.

Donahue has said for the first round of PPP that 70 percent of applicants in Wisconsin received around $150,000 or less.

More information about PPP is available at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

$2,500 small business grants

Monday, June 1 the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced $75 million has been set aside for the "We're All in Small Business Grant" starting June 15.

According to a WEDC press release: "The program, which will provide $2,500 to 30,000 small businesses, is designed to help small businesses get back on their feet amid the COVID-19 pandemic while also encouraging them to adopt best practices to keep employees, customers and communities safe."

Businesses are eligible if they were in operation in February and are a Wisconsin-based, for-profit, employer with 20 or fewer full-time employees (including the owner) and had less than $1 million in revenue.

Not eligible are those businesses that are part of a national chain, unless it is a third-party franchise.

Others not eligible include those specifically covered by the CARES Act concerning crop production, animal or aquaculture production and leasing residential buildings or dwelling.

More information about the program is at wedc.org/WAI-Small-Business-Grant.

The online grant application will be open from 8 a.m. Monday, June 15 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 21.

Child Care Counts

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) is helping to promoting child care access and with a number of payment programs to support child care providers.

Three programs are available:

• Funding to care for essential workers.

• Incentive pay.

• Support for temporarily closed child care programs.

There are two remaining application periods for applying for Child Care Counts dollars:

• June 8-19

• June 29-July 10.

More information, including how to apply, is available at https://dcf. wisconsin.gov/covid-19/childcare/payments.


Despite ongoing public health concerns, Price County residents came out to donate blood in Park Falls and Phillips earlier this week. Pictured above, Mark Schmidt donates at the Park Falls Recreation Arena on Monday.

Relief funding available to local municipalities for costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic

A newly introduced $200 million grant program will offer funding to every county, city, village, and town in Wisconsin in order to reimburse local government for unbudgeted expenditures incurred between March 1 and Oct. 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Of the $200 million, $10,000 will be provided to Wisconsin tribes.

The dollar amount of the grants — which are being administered by the Department of Administration and are funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — will be based on the jurisdiction's population, although it has been stated that each municipality will receive a minimum of $5,000 for qualifying expenses.

Locally, Price County is eligible for up to $231,117. Up to $40,498 has been allocated for the City of Park Falls and $23,362 allocated for the City of Phillips.

The Town of Worcester is eligible for up to $25,617, Town of Lake $18,355, Town of Elk, $16,631, Town of Fifield $14,599, Town of Ogema $11,901, Village of Prentice $10,519, Town of Eisenstein $10,242, Town of Flambeau $7,901, Town of Prentice, $7,609, Town of Kennan $5,739, Town of Knox, $5,690, and the Town of Hill $5,560. Other municipalities located in Price County are eligible for $5,000 each.

In order to receive funding, each jurisdiction will be required to report their eligible expenditures to the state, after which they will be reviewed in early July and every two months until Nov. 1. Municipalities will be reimbursed for eligible expenses until the amount allocated to them reaches zero.

According to the DOA, eligible expenditures include:

* Emergency operations activities, including those related to public health, emergency services, and public safety response;

* Purchases of personal protective equipment;

* Cleaning/sanitizing supplies and services, including those related to elections administration;

* Temporary isolation housing for infected or at-risk individuals;

* Testing and contact tracing costs above those covered by existing State programs;

* FMLA and sick leave for public health and safety employees to take COVID-19 precautions;

* Meeting local match requirements for expenses submitted for reimbursement by FEMA, to the extent allowed by federal law.

Municipalities may contact the DOA if they wish to transfer the amount allocated to their jurisdiction to another unit of government that has more qualifying expenses.

More information can be found online at https://doa.wi.gov/Pages/LocalGovtsGrants/COVID-Grants.aspx.

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