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March 25, 2020

Dear readers,

More than 1,000 members of the state’s business community, including many affiliated with the Wisconsin Technology Council, joined in a live online meeting Wednesday with Gov. Tony Evers and others to discuss the “safer in place” state order that took effect that same morning. Below is a “frequently asked questions” page from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. tied to the order and what it means to be an “essential business.” The full order is also available here. Major takeaways from the online presentation: Gov. Evers, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and WEDC Secretary Missy Hughes stressed the importance of Wisconsin’s small business economy, outlined some available programs and expressed their faith in the ability of small and emerging businesses to pivot under fire. See more about WEDC programs below in the “At a Glance” section.

Eric Ness, the district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Wisconsin, discussed the process for applying for economic injury loans. Because the SBA website is experiencing unprecedented activity, it has been jammed at times. People hoping to file for economic injury loans tied to the COVID-19 crisis are urged to file at ‘off times,’ if possible, such as 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. They should save their work often, write down and keep their logins and passwords for handy reference. On the call, Ness advised they should also store whatever documents they produce or need on their desktops, as well, for when they are contacted by SBA loan processors.

For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit

Also, please read a guest column below from Deb Archer, CEO of Destination Madison, on the value of supporting the hospitality industry in these hard times.

WEDC’s FAQ page for Wisconsin’s “Essential Business”

Stay tuned for announcements about virtual Tech Council webinars on COVID-19 issues of interest to our members and others.


Tom Still, president

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·       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:
Current loan recipient in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI (or its collaborating CDFIs); 20 or fewer PT/FT employees; Greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues; and, preference should be given to service and retail businesses

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

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

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

·       WEDC has compiled a comprehensive overview of their resources along with state and federal resources to assist Wisconsin citizens aimed at maintaining the viability of the companies upon which our economy depends.

·       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

·       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

·       Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus latest updates

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

Wi-YES-Logo-300x161Move 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


Archer, Deb 032520The almost-overnight cessation of people traveling created a global crisis not just for airlines and hotels, but your favorite restaurants and bars.  Almost immediately other elements of our communities were impacted by lack of visitors – festivals, sporting events, botanical gardens, arts/culture/entertainment venues, golf courses and more.Tourism and hospitality are often considered less important sectors compared to the “real” economic driver industries in the world.  It took less than a week to turn that perception on its head. Now, tourism and hospitality are understood to be the economic engine that turned off the spigot of our national and global economy.

Archer is the chief executive officer of Destination Madison. Click here to view the full column in our newsroom.

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

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

·       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 (potentially online). Learn more.

·       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.

·       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.

·       Click here to sign up for the WisPolitics/WisBusiness daily healthcare report.

·       gener8tor is working in conjunction with AmFam Institute to host emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, starting March 30.

      Tom Still 2017
Tom Still
Tech Council


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