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Dear readers, March 19, 2020

Today’s edition of the Tech Council Current contains updated stories and resources related to the coronavirus and how it is affecting the Wisconsin economy. My “Inside Wisconsin” column focuses on why one major player in the venture capital world, Sequoia Capital in Silicon Valley, views the coronavirus as both the “black swan” of the 2020 economy and a reason to raise a massive fund for investing.

March 18, 2020 InsideWis: “Following the flight of the ‘black swan’: Entrepreneurs in the coronavirus era”

Stay healthy,


Do you have news or best practices to contribute to a future edition of Tech Council Current?


Stay healthy,

Tom Still, president



WISN12: President Trump signs coronavirus relief legislation into law
Release: U.S. House of Representatives legislation passed in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
WISN12: Wisconsin coronavirus cases now total at least 155
Merk Investments: Let's spend $1 trillion to get people back to work
The Journal Times: Kohl's announces it is closing all of its U.S. stores, starting at 7 p.m. tonight
SAMHSA: Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation on your mental health during an infectious disease outbreak

 Wi-YES-Logo-300x161 Move to online schools offers students chance to enter ‘Wisconsin YES!’ business plan contest
The closing of schools across Wisconsin due to the COVID-19 epidemic means teachers and students will pursue instruction opportunities online in the coming weeks. One useful tool readily available for middle- and high-school students is the Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science, or Wisconsin YES!, contest. Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. This free, statewide youth business plan contest is modeled after the successful Governor’s Business Plan Contest. It is open for online entries from Wisconsin middle- and high-school students through 5 p.m. April 13, 2020. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through


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·       Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus latest updates

·       Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 Outbreaks in Wisconsin

·       Live dashboard with QUICK NUMBERS and FACTS on the IMPACT of COVID-19

·       WMTV15: Wisconsin schedule changes for events, cities, school and universities.

·       Gov. Evers’ office has launched a statewide COVID-19 website that aggregates information and resources throughout state government.

·       The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development produced this helpful Frequently Asked Questions document.

·       View UW-Madison’s COVID-19 top updates, plans and response.

·       IdeaAdvance: (Remote learning opp.) Get your idea off the ground. Learn more about this $75,000 seed fund.

·       Newance is offering free “Office Hours” for any business leaders who need to talk through remote management, morale or any other concerns. Click here to reach out to Amanda Daering via Calendly.

·       Fiveable offers free AP assistance while in-person “Advanced Placement” high school classes aren’t in session. AP exams through CollegeBoard are still scheduled for May. Learn more.

·       Report any scams or price gouging to Wisconsin Department of Justice: If you suspect fraud or a scam, Attorney General Kaul suggests filing a complaint online at

·       Access Microsoft’s efforts to help teams work remotely and navigate online.

·       Michael Best has formed a COVID-19 Task Force to address business and legal implications.

·       Reinhart’s Coronavirus Resource Center includes the impact of HR 6201 on employees.

·       BDO monitors the latest COVID-19 business impacts and regulatory updates.

·       SBA: COVID-19: Small business guidance and loan resources.

·       ActionCoach is offering a free zoom web event on Friday, March 20 on shifting and adapting your business in response to COVID-19.

·       InBusiness Madison offers tips for professionals suddenly forced into remote work on cybersecurity, what to do with “free” time, and how to manage those distractions known as kids.

·       Wisconsin Veteran’s Chamber of Commerce: Member guide, understanding COVID-19 and how to plan.

·       Learn more about Epic tools that can help you and your organization treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

·       WIPLFi: Information to help businesses and individuals weather the coronavirus.

·       Quarles & Brady has created a resource of COVID-19 articles that impact clients and businesses.

·       Wisconsin Department of Tourism is actively planning for Wisconsin’s economic COVID-19 recovery.

·       U.S. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program:  The declaration is expected to be received and take effect in the coming days.  When it is made official, a portal will open on the SBA’s website that allows business owners to apply for working capital loans. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail

·       WEDC Small Business 2020 Program: Assistance will be available to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) List of All 23 CDFIs in Wisconsin to provide grants to their existing loan clients to help mitigate business-related cash flow issues in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Approved CDFIs will make program grants (up to $20,000) available to for-profit businesses meeting the following criteria:

o    Current loan recipient in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI (or its collaborating CDFIs);

o    20 or fewer PT/FT employees;

o    Greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues; and, 

o    Preference should be given to service and retail businesses.

·       Kiva has expanded small business lending on its online platform to include a larger list of eligible businesses, the possibility for larger loans, and a grace period for repayment. Please consult this blog post for details. When applying for Kiva lending, please follow this guidance:

o    For a small business unaffiliated with WEDC’s Main Street or Connect Communities program, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), or one of the State’s minority chambers of commerce, please apply directly through Kiva: This online portal will provide you with an estimate of your loan amount, walk you through the process, and route you to the appropriate contact.

o    Greater Milwaukee applicants should click here and  Greater Madison applicants should click here.

o    For small business owners affiliated with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, and the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, please contact the chambers directly for assistance.


      Tom Still 2017
Tom Still
Tech Council


March 18, 2020 InsideWis: “Following the flight of the ‘black swan’: Entrepreneurs in the coronavirus era”

View full archives by clicking here.


View full archives by clicking here.


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