Loans and Grants

  • $350 billion to help small businesses keep their employees working.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program was created under the CARES Act to provide federally guaranteed loans to help small businesses maintain payroll and pay certain other expenses.
  • The loans offered through this program are up to 100 percent forgivable if the business maintains payroll.
  • Business owners will be able to apply for these loans at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • CARES Act Small Business Guide and Checklist– U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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)

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program

  • Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork.
  • These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
  • Terms: up to $25,000; Fast turn-around; Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from a EIDL loan


COVID-19 Northwest Wisconsin Response Fund

Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation is partnering with Head of the Lakes United Way to coordinate this fund. The priorities of this fund include:

  • Addressing the needs of staff of nonprofit organizations impacted by reduced or lost employment or benefits, as well as program providers (e.g., contractors, volunteers, etc.)
  • Supporting adaptions necessary to continue functioning (e.g., protective equipment for staff and volunteers, technology, supplies)
  • Developing community wellbeing for coping and healing, including youth development, mental health, healthy relationships, etc.
  • Providing one-time operating support to organizations experiencing increased demand for services, diminishing volunteer support, and those serving vulnerable populations, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, people with physical and mental disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, people with low incomes, people with limited English proficiency, etc.


Community Opportunity Fund – one time mission support

Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation is utilizing its unrestricted funding, provided by donors who have trusted the foundation with utilizing their donations to meet the timely needs of the community, to address the needs of organizations facing challenges related to COVID-19 and resulting economic impacts. Core mission grants through the Community Opportunity Fund may be used for core operating expenditures, with a few exceptions as outlined in the attached guidelines.

US Travel Association CARES Act guidelines for travel industry

U.S. Travel Association has created documents to help walk our members through the provisions of the CARES Act for which travel industry companies are eligible. Links to the resources are below and include a links to their CARES Act resource page which outlines all current funding available to small businesses through CARES and the SBA. There is also a helpful and detailed PDF outlining CARES Act provisions and eligibility. Lastly, an FAQ has been included as well.

CARES Act Resource Page

CARES Act Provisions & Eligibility PDF


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.
This fund is open to U.S.-based artists who’ve fallen on hard times because of the coronavirus outbreak. If you’ve had a performance or show canceled because of COVID-19, apply.
If you’re a musician or music industry worker who lost 50% of your income, you’re eligible to apply to this fund.

United States-based musicians who’ve been active for the past five years are eligible to apply for a microgrant. This fund also asks for paperwork proving that most of your income has come from your work as a musician. We’re also not sure how they define a “professional musician” but there is an email on the page where you can inquire for more information.


Craft Emergency Relief Fund

Are you a United States-based craft artist looking for emergency funds? You must have been involved in craft-making (there’s a definition of “craft making” on the site) for at least three years before your emergency and you must be making a majority of your income from your art. Visit the site to learn more about eligibility to apply to this fund.

PEN American Writer’s Emergency Fund

This fund is for professional (published or produced) writers and editors who are in acute financial crisis.