Wisconsin resources for small businesses impacted by coronavirus restrictions

Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 1:53 PM CDT
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Wisconsin is making resources available to small businesses impacted by restrictions implemented during the coronavirus outbreak.

The state says it recognizes COVID-19 has posed "unprecedented challenges" to Wisconsin businesses.

An order from Gov. Tony Evers limits bars and restaurants to takeout and delivery.

The order closed all hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tanning salons, day spas, body art and tattoo parlors in the state.

for answers to your questions about the governor's orders regarding coronavirus.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Small Business Administration, and Gov. Evers invited small business owners to take part in a call about the options they have while some business remains at a standstill. Action 2 News took part in that call, and here's what we learned:

"We understand fully that this has impact on many businesses," says Gov. Evers. "And we're doing all we can to help our businesses, especially small businesses, weather the impacts."

WEDC has set up a website of resources for small businesses. The U.S. SBA has approved the state's request for low-interest federal disaster loans under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

to find out how you can apply for a small business disaster loan.

The state says they're aware that the system has been overwhelmed at times. They recommend avoiding peak hours and trying to log in between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Keep saving your information in case you get kicked off the page.

"We're doing our best. We added many, many workers to our employment insurance hotlines, and we only had one breakdown, I believe, when 19,000 people tried to call us all at once," says Gov. Evers. "But we got through that, and I think things are going well. 99-98 percent of the applications are completed online, so we feel we're in a good place to help your workers."

Gov. Evers on Tuesday issued a "Safer at Home" order that says all non-essential business in the state should "cease all activities" except for "minimal basic operations."

for a list of essential business in Wisconsin.

"We really modeled after what Ohio has started with, which is a broad list of essential businesses, so that then we can try to find ourselves within that list, first and foremost," says WEDC Sec. Missy Hughes.

"We recognize your sacrifices you're making, and you're making it for the health and safety of all the people of the State of Wisconsin," says Evers. "Your friends, your neighbors, and your families. We are committed to working with all of you so we all come out of this together."