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April 21, 2020

Dear readers, 

Paycheck Protection Program, Part 2

Some small business owners are seeing the see red – as in red ink – over reports that 75 publicly traded companies, some valued at $100 million or more, received loans in the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program. Other small businesses are unhappy that some banks processed applications based on the size of the loan, not the first-come, first-served approach envisioned by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Meanwhile, a new, $500-billion COVID-19 aid package flew through the U.S. Senate Tuesday, part of which will be used to replenish the small business payroll fund.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin businesses and bankers appear to do something right and playing by the rules, as the state ranks 10th in the country (we’re 20th in population) in the number of approved PPP loans. Perhaps the next round will see more of the state’s qualifying businesses fare well. Credit also goes to the Wisconsin SBA, which has reached out to business groups on a regular basis, including through a webinar held by the Tech Council.  

Please read our latest memorandum on ‘reopening’ Wisconsin

The Tech Council has remained in touch with our state policymakers on issues related to the COVID-19 epidemic and its economic effects. Please read a letter we sent to Gov. Tony Evers’ office Monday: Tech Council letter to Gov. Evers’ chief of staff


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

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


Tom Still, president

View Tom Still’s full InsideWis archives by clicking here.

Guest column: The mother of ‘down rounds’: The Hard Times Round

If the Ordinary Course down round is generally a dry, weary affair, when a down market and a depleted cash stockpile coincide with disappointing performance and team turmoil, down rounds can become much more … stimulating.

For our purposes we’ll assume that our startup, Newco, has had some serious mishaps, both in terms of real business/technical issues and perceived management issues. Current investors are mostly tapped out but variously open to considering a modest new investment with the right players, and on the right terms. A potential new investor, CEO candidate in-hand, is interested.

Welcome to the Hard Times down round scenario. It’s the bookend to the Ordinary Course down round, which I described in the first part of this series. This is the down round from the lower reaches.
Tech Council member Jones’ full column can be read in our newsroom.

Jones, Paul 040819

Paul Jones

We want to know how you’re doing!

Please complete a brief online survey, the results of which we believe will be helpful to policymakers, news media and others as Wisconsin prepares for the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let me emphasis “brief” really means brief in this survey, with only 11 questions – counting demographics – and all questions answerable via radial buttons. It’s anonymous and asks for your thoughts on the timing of the economic recovery, what actions can help your organization, targeted workforce needs and more. We’ll publish the results when they’re tabulated. You do not need to be the CEO to complete the survey!


2020 Wisconsin Business Plan Contest

We recently announced a fantastic crop of 28 finalists , and we’re looking forward to the competition entering the next phase. If you’re able to contribute services to the prize kitty – legal, accounting, consulting, office space, media and design, cash or something else a young company might want – please contact us. Email your ideas to: and she’ll get back to you. Thanks for helping this exciting group of entrepreneurs advance their companies during a challenging time.


Doyenne Group presents Iso-Learning Series: The CARES Act Overview & the Conversations that Follow

Join attorney Danielle Johnson of Neider & Boucher to talk you through all of the pieces of the CARES Act relevant to entrepreneurs and small business owners. The CARES Act has changed since it was initially approved by the Federal Government and Danielle will discuss these changes and the impacts they have on you, your business, your employees, and your eligibility for funds through the SBA.

Danielle will also provide advice for how to have difficult conversations with your team and employees as you need to let them know of tough decisions you have to make, and resources you can point individuals to. Learn more and start free 1-hour course here.

Neider Boucher 2015

Reinhart Law is partnering with Wisconsin Family Business Center to host webinars designed to help family-owned businesses: Planning & Portfolio Opportunities for Challenged Environments on Wednesday, April 22

Baker Tilly is offering a series of coronavirus-related business concerns (registration for all):
A briefing on coronavirus-related tax relief on Wednesday, April 22
Crisis, continuity and recovery: A real-time enterprise risk workshop on Wednesday, April 29

Inc.’s free Real Talk: Business Reboot - Ask Me Anything with Mark Cuban is on Wednesday, April 22

SBDC presents Keys to Business Survival: Cash Flow and SBA Relief Options on Wednesday, April 22 and Thursday April 23

BizTimes is hosting COVID Era and Beyond: Managing Workforce Liability Under a New Normal on Thursday, April 23

DreamBank is hosting Sales During Social Distancing: Thriving in the New Normal with Ashley Quinto Powell on Thursday, April 23

German Marshall Fund presents Beyond the Peak: Coronavirus Update from Europe on Thursday, April 23

The Creative Company will present Communicating with Clarity during COVID-19 on Monday, April 27

HyperInnovation is offer a free Emerging Tech Hub Online Showcase on Tuesday, April 28

The Fitchburg Chamber Visitor + Business Bureau is hosting a Fitchburg Focus Economic Development Update webinar on Thursday, April 30

Aberdean Consulting is hosting several webinars to enhance the remote working environment safety:
Microsoft Outlook Productivity Hacks on Tuesday, May 5
Collaborate with Microsoft OneNote on Thursday, April 23 and Thursday, May 7

upcoming virtual events

·       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.
COVID-19 Volunteer Program
Religious Gatherings and Services
DVA Assistance to Needy Veterans Program
Gov. Evers Announces Badger Bounce Back Plan

·       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

·       Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses, Pending congressional and presidential approval, the SBA may offer another round of low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses and non-profits impacted by coronavirus

·       Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus latest updates

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

·       The FDIC has provided guidance to banking institutions and consumers affected by COVID-19 and encouraged financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and customers in affected communities.

·       The Department of Labor has issued guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements.

·       NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers are providing services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers such as connecting businesses that are pivoting their production in response to the coronavirus to new supply chains, connecting firms with state resources, advising companies on new operational issues, and providing workforce support.

·        “Wisconsin COVID-19 Startup Talentis a new project to help those displaced from jobs and employers now hiring

·       The Department of the Defense has established the Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) for COVID-19 to assess and rapidly respond to challenges presented by this pandemic. They are collecting information from both government and non-government personnel who are interested in getting involved. All resources and solutions are welcome from industry, academia, venture capital firms, individual contributors and more. Request information here.

·       Wisconsin Hospital Association releases a COVID-19 dynamic Situational Awareness Update

·       View an interactive map of public wi-fi “hot spots” in Wisconsin

CoVID-19 news graphic - BIZ resources

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 CoVID-19 news graphic The New York Times: Senate passes $484 billion aid package
: Wisconsin legislature files legal action against 'Safer at Home' order
NBC: Congress reaches deal on coronavirus relief bill, which Trump is expected to sign
Wisconsin State Journal: Officials link 7 Wisconsin virus cases to in-person voting
The Journal Times: The latest on the $500 billion aid package and Trump's immigration order
BizWomen: Walmart requires associates to wear masks, shoppers encouraged to do the same
Wisconsin State Journal: Survey finds majority of Wisconsin residents say they practice social distancing 'very much'
Politico: Small businesses sue Wells, JPMorgan, other banks over PPP loans
WisBusiness: Evers casts doubt on tavern league ‘soft reopening’ request
Wisconsin State Farmer: Farmers seek guidance in responding to dairy crisis
Milwaukee Business Journal: Coronavirus spread still slowing, but not reaching figures needed to lift ‘Safer at Home’
Wisconsin State Journal: UW Health, UnityPoint Health cut costs, salaries in response to COVID-19
Milwaukee Business Journal: Wisconsin development secretary weighs $50M in grants for small firms to re-start
WISN: Bars, restaurants will look very different when Wisconsin allows reopening
Urban Milwaukee: State still not using full testing capacity


View The Show full archives by clicking here.

CoVID-19 news graphic - other resources

  • WI Health Connect: Think you may have COVID-19? Free, confidential over-the-phone screening now available.
  • Live dashboard with QUICK NUMBERS and FACTS on the IMPACT of COVID-19
  • IdeaAdvance: Get your idea off the ground: Learn more about this $75,000 seed fund.
  • Newance is offering free “Office Hours” for business leaders: Reach out to Amanda Daering.
  • Fiveable offers free AP assistance, the exams through CollegeBoard are scheduled for at-home and online in May.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Husch Blackwell explores issues at the intersection of law and public health emergencies.
  • TASC is making its expertise and emergency benefit accounts available for free to Dane County employers in 2020.
  • Neider & Boucher provides their clients with the necessary focus to help define and reach their goals during COVID-19.
  • UW-Madison’s CROWE researchers track and analyze the economic impact of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and beyond.
  • WMC launched a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Resource Center and Employer Toolkit.
  • Godfrey & Kahn’s COVID-19 Resource Center provides timely insights on the unique legal challenges and business implications created by the pandemic
  • Baker Tilly’s Coronavirus Resource Center: how an unplanned event such as the COVID-19 outbreak can affect your organization, employees, customers and suppliers.
  • The Burish Group: UBS Business Owner Resiliency Center



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