Madison, Wis. – Today, the Evers Administration opened the application period for two programs totaling $75 million targeted toward supporting diverse businesses and communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Gov. Evers previously announced he was directing federal funds to make the $75 million investment in October. The $37.5 million Diverse Business Assistance Grant Program will provide support to ethnic and diverse chambers of commerce and other collaboratives that provide technical assistance and services to businesses that have historically been denied access to capital and are owned by members of communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Diverse Business Investment Grant Program will provide an additional $37.5 million to community development financial institutions (CDFIs), for grants to small and micro-businesses that are owned by members of communities that were historically denied access to capital and those that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
“These grants will address business needs in communities that have been severely distressed by the economic effects of COVID-19 and where accessing credit and capital has been historically difficult,” said Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Joel Brennan. “Providing these funds is critical to ensuring that Wisconsinites across the state are able to recover and bounce back strong.”
“The Ethnic & Diverse Business Coalition (EDBC) is proud of the work that we do individually and collectively to help ethnic and diverse businesses sustain and grow around the state of Wisconsin,” said Marjorie Rucker, Executive Director of the Business Council, Inc. “EDBC members and ethnic and diverse businesses around the state are excited to receive the critical funding required to get them in a position to bounce back fairly and equitably, which will lead to a better Wisconsin overall.”
Both programs will be administered by the Wisconsin DOA, with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.The competitive grant applications will remain open through January 14, 2022.
Grant program criteria, upcoming informational webinar, and Q&A submissions are available on the program websites:
- Diverse Business Assistance Grant Program – https://doa.wi.gov/pages/DiverseBusinessAssistance.aspx
- Diverse Business Investment Grant Program – https://doa.wi.gov/pages/DiverseBusinessInvestment.aspx
Applicants are encouraged to submit questions and check the program websites for additional information, as well as sign up for specific program updates through the Diverse Business Assistance grant email update, and the Diverse Business Investment grant email update.
For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.