MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers said Monday he would hand out $75 million to small businesses that have lost money after the coronavirus pandemic shut them down.
Under the Democratic govenor’s plan, businesses would get grants of $2,500 each to help cover insurance, wages and other costs.
To fund the effort, Evers is relying on some of the nearly $2 billion in federal coronavirus aid he controls. He has broad leeway on how to spend the money and does not need to get permission from Republicans who control the Legislature implement his idea.
The grants will be administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. as part of its “We’re All In” initaitive.
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“Wisconsinites have done an incredible job of banding together throughout this crisis and it’s more important than ever for us to continue respecting each other, supporting each other, holding each other accountable and protecting those who are vulnerable,” Evers said in a statement.
To get the money, businesses will have to agree to adhere to certain safety protocols, such as keeping people apart from one another, making touchless payment options available and discouraging employees from sharing phones, computers and other devices.
The grants will be available to businesses with 20 or fewer employees that were affected by the pandemic and have not already received assistance from the economic development corporation. As many as 30,000 businesses could receive grants.
Full details about the grants will be released in June, according to Evers’ office.
Under a related program, ethnically diverse busineses with five or fewer employees can qualify for grants of $2,000 each. Up to 1,000 of those grants will be provided.
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