COVID-19: Small Business Resources

Policy from state, federal, and county officials is changing very rapidly. We understand and empathize that this is difficult period for small businesses and have developed a list of recourses for your use. We have included SBA loan information, paid leave resources for your employees, and other resources, and will continue adding information as it becomes available.

Please check this page regularly as it may be updated frequently as we receive updated information.

Loan and Grant Opportunties

US SBA – Economic Injury Disaster Loan

  • Loans up to $2 Million to be used for working capital to keep operations going; can be used for fixed-debt, payroll, operating expenses, etc. for small businesses and non-profits
  • Loan requirements: good standing credit history; ability to repay the loan; collateral for loans greater than $25,000. Loans less than $25K do not require collateral. Must qualify as a small business per SBA criteria.
  • There is a 12-month deferment period for repayment of loan; interest will accrue from date of award at a simple, fixed rate (3.75% for businesses, 2.75% for non-profits)
  • If you currently have a Disaster Loan through SBA (possibly from past flooding, for example), these loan repayments can potentially be deferred for a period of time as well. Contact your loan representative if you currently have such a loan
  • Loans come directly from the US Treasury

Tips when applying for this loan:

  • The application site is extremely busy at this time; suggestion is to apply at less busy times such as after 7pm and before 7am
  • Save your work as you go as the webpage will periodically time out and you will have to log on again
  • Keep your log on information.  SBA cannot send it to you.  If you lose your log on information, you will need to start over
  • Keep track of your application number
  • Have any forms ready before you apply online.  Forms needed include (see SBA webpage for detailed information):
    • completed SBA loan application (SBA Form 5)
    • Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T)
    • Copies of most recent tax return (if you have not filed for 2019, include a year-end profit & loss statement and balance sheet)
    • Schedule of Liabilities (SBA Form 2202)
    • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413)
    • Additional Filing Requirements (SBA Form 1368)

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation SB2020 Grant

  • Intended for small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time or part-time employees and having less than $2 Million in annual revenue
  • Preference is given to service and retail business
  • Max awards are $20,000 and can be used to cover rent and payroll expenses including paid sick leave, family and other leave related to COVID-19
  • Grant awards are dispersed through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and grant recipients must have a current, existing relationship (such as a loan) with a CDFI. A list of CDFIs in Wisconsin can be found here. In our area, there are two: Northwoods Community Credit Union and Impact Seven.
WEDC realizes that small businesses that do not have a current relationship with a CDFI are ineligible and are working to find other funding opportunities to be able to expand this service. Continue to check back to our webpage and/or the WEDC webpage.

Kiva Small Business Loans

Kiva is a non-profit with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive.  In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, they are offering short-term loans at 0% interest to small businesses.  There is up to a 1-6 month grace period for repayment.  See their website for more information.

COVID-19 Northwest Wisconsin Response Fund

  • Through the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
  • Grants to nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 response in Ashland, Bayfield, and Douglas Counties

Arts Wisconsin

A listing of various funding sources and opportunities for art and artist communities.


Payroll and Tax Information

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development: Unemployment Insurance:

Employers can find information on Unemployment Insurance at:

Federal 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.

Wisconsin State Tax Information

Wisconsin has extended the tax deadline until July 15, 2020.  See their webpage for other information and announcements related to COVID-19.

Other Business Resources

Arts Wisconsin Resources

WI Department of Workforce Development

Wisconsin Small Business Development Center 

Center for Disease Control – Business Resources

State of WI Business Resources

Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation

Ashland Area Development Corporation

Northwest Regional Planning Commission