Governor announces millions for restaurants, live venues and hospitality

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 7:55 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has announced $45 million for restaurants and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is called We’re All in For Restaurants. About 2,000 businesses will receive the funds, Ninety-five percent of them are restaurants.

“Restaurants and other venues have been among the businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Evers said. “They’ve made the tough decisions to keep employees and customers safe by restricting indoor seating, offering delivery and curbside pick-up, and providing outdoor tables. We greatly appreciate the changes they’ve made to prioritize the health and safety of our communities, but now with winter coming, we are glad to provide this support at a critical time.”

Businesses do not need to apply for the funds. The state will determine who gets the grants based on the businesses’ state tax records. The program helps businesses with annual revenues of more than $1 million and less than $7 million.

Previous grants have been given to businesses that earn less than $1 million.

Thee funds will be distributed by the Department of Revenue and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

“We have all the systems in place to quickly disburse funding to these businesses who need it to get through the coming winter months. Our staff is ready to assist, and I am pleased we are able to help,” said DOR Secretary Peter Barca.

In a sign of promise for bipartisanship between the administration and GOP leaders, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos thanked the governor.

“I would like to thank the Governor for focusing on the hospitality industry just as the Assembly GOP plan released this week. Restaurants have suffered immensely from the local restrictions and lockdowns during the pandemic. These establishments are important fixtures in our communities and I’m pleased that federal dollars are going to help them through these difficult times,” said Vos.

Gov. Evers also announced $15 million in grants for 96 live music and entertainment venues.

Hotels and other hospitality businesses are also getting grants. More than 650 lodging industry partners will receive an average of $350 per room.

The funds come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

In total, $220 million of those funds have been given to Wisconsin businesses this year.

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