COVID-19 Business Resources
In these unprecedented times, we are working to ensure that businesses in Vernon County have access to the information and resources they need.
Safer at Home FAQ's - Essential Businesses
KIVA is a crowd-lending platform that provides 0% loans to small businesses through a platform of online lenders (local and global).
Effective immediately, U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan will have access to the following expanded lending options in response to the pandemic:
- Expanded eligibility: More businesses will be eligible for a Kiva loan.
- Larger loans: The maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000.
- Grace period: Applicants may receive a grace period of up to six months for greater financial flexibility.
- Women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses may also have access to a 50% match, up to $5,000, from WEDC.
- To apply for a loan or sign up to be a lender yourself, visit www.kiva.org
- These loans can be for up to $2 million and the funds may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that otherwise could not be paid because of the disaster’s impact
- The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses w/out credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75% over a 30-year term.
WEDC Small Business 20/20 Grant Program
The WEDC Board of Directors on March 17 approved $5 million in funding for the program, which will be known as Small Business 20/20 (SB20/20). GRANTS of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19). Read entire Press Release Here
- provides funds to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to make grants to existing loan clients to mitigate short-term cash flow issues and protect jobs and public health in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Approved CDFIs and collaboratives will make program grants available to for-profit businesses that are current loan recipients in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI and/or its collaborating CDFIs.
- These businesses must have 20 or fewer full-time or part-time employees and greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues. Preference will be given to service and retail businesses.
U.S. Bartenders Guild (USBG)
National Charitable Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program provides emergency funding for bar industry staff who need financial support. USBG membership is not required. Additional donations are being accepted as well.
Coulee Cap - USDA Revolving Loan Fund
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, small businesses in rural areas in Vernon, Crawford, Monroe and La Crosse Counties suffering severe economic injury will be given preference and will have the option to take advantage of zero interest, deferred payments, and no collateral requirements.
WEDC Resources for COVID-19
Wisconsin Economic Development Downtown Team have compiled the attached document for consideration for our small businesses to pivot and thrive during these times. There are best practices from local, State, Federal and global small businesses, as we know them now. Included are funding opportunities for minimizing small business disruption.
Wisconsin Dept of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection COVID-19 Toolkit
This is intended to serve as a resource for agricultural organizations as they prepare for potential impacts of COVID-19 on their business operations. The State of Wisconsin, including the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus) in coordination with the Department of Health Services (DHS) Public Health and other local, state, and federal partners. DATCP’s Emergency Response Group is also working to update the department’s plan to ensure continuity of essential operations.
Wisconsin Restaurant Industry Suppliers Toolkit - COVID-19 Help
From the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, this toolkit has clarification on some common questions, what you can and cannot do for alcohol sales, financial assistance resources, unemployment FAQs, business modification ideas, and checklist of things to do if you are temporarily closing and more.
Info and Resources for the Creative Sector re COVID-19
Arts Wisconsin is working tirelessly to keep Wisconsin’s creative economy strong at this moment of crisis. This site is updated continuously.
Wisconsin Department of Tourism Resources
A comprehensive list that Travel Wisconsin/Wisconsin Dept of Tourism has gathered in one place to help your business, organization and employees navigate this incredibly difficult time.
Paycheck Protection Program
An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Coronavirus Tax Relief
The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.
This page will be updated as new information is available.
FAQ's and Unemployment Benefits - Department of Workforce Development
Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Coronavirus and Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits.
Vernon County Economic Development Loan