Madison Chamber of Commerce: Recovery update

The Chamber has launched a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Responses are posted at

Submit questions about the CARES Act, Gov. Evers’ “Badger Bounce Back” plan, availability of assistance for your business and more by visiting and entering the event code #ASK4BIZ (or simply click here to go directly to the page). Questions can also be submitted via email at [email protected].

Good evening —

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and our organizational efforts to inform and ensure an effective community response.

Today’s highlights include a resumption of the Paycheck Protection Program and the latest news and information from the Chamber’s Lunch(UP)date series.


Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) resumed accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Congress provided an additional $321 billion for the program last week, including $60 billion for a new set of small business lenders ($30 billion for Community Financial Institutions, Small Insured Depository Institutions and Credit Unions with less than $10 billion in assets; and $30 billion for Insured Depository Institutions and Credit Unions who have between $10 and $50 billion in assets).

Enacted as part of the CARES Act, PPP is a loan program designed to incentivize small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities (at least 75 percent of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll).

To be eligible for the PPP, you must be a small business as defined by the SBA (typically fewer than 500 employees, but varies by business sector), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit with fewer than 500 employees, or be a sole proprietor, self-employed or an independent contractor.

Employers are able to apply through current 7(a) lenders, and additional lenders will be approved for participation. For a current list of all Wisconsin SBA lenders and their contact information, click here.

Funding for this program has already run out once and is expected to do so again soon; why wait to apply? We strongly advise that you immediately reach out to your preferred lender to start the conversation.

Additional SBA information about the PPP can be found here.


Last Friday, April 24, we welcomed UW Health CEO Dr. Alan Kaplan for the latest edition of Lunch(UP)date, the Chamber program where you can take a break and enjoy lunch while staying connected, curious and informed.

Dr. Kaplan focused on the latest news and updates regarding our community’s response to COVID-19 from the healthcare perspective. The UW Health team put together an incident command center in February, but they have effectively managed their caseload: Kaplan said they have experienced a 55 percent drop in filling beds and 62 percent fewer procedures. They have also, through facility construction, gone from 60 intensive care unit beds to 177, giving them “tremendous capacity” to handle what may come.

Kaplan says even though they are able to take on more patients, UW Health has not been immune to economic challenges. Without government intervention, he expects UW Health to take a loss of $100 million per month. Despite the economic toll, he believes the Governor’s “Safer at Home” order has been effective in protecting the public, that reopening the economy must be managed carefully and that “every two weeks we should up the ante as we learn what we’re doing is safe.”

See the full recording of Friday’s event here.

Register here for our next Lunch(UP)date, this Wednesday, April 29, with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. Submit in advance any questions you have for Secretary Hughes or the Chamber to [email protected].


Today, Gov. Tony Evers issued a new interim order permitting expanded operations for non-essential businesses. The order takes effect at 8 a.m. this Wednesday, April 29, and can be found here.

The order allows non-essential businesses – including dog groomers, small engine repair shops and upholstery businesses – to do curbside drop-off. The order also allows for outdoor recreational rentals – including boats, golf carts, kayaks and ATVs – and the operation of automatic or self-service car washes. All must provide payment options online or over the phone and enact proper disinfecting practices, and operations must be able to be performed by one staff member.

For an updated FAQ document about the Governor’s “Safer at Home” order, click here.


Under the updated “Safer at Home” order, non-essential businesses are now able to perform curbside pickup, delivery and mail under certain circumstances. Public Health Madison & Dane County has created a toolkit to assist non-essential businesses that decide to reopen performing curbside pickup or delivery.

Check out the full toolkit here.