Business News for October 1, 2020
Today's message includes the following news and online courses:

  • News and Updates
  • We're All Innovating Contest
  • Madworks Seed Accelerator Applications Accepted until 10/11 
  • Women-Owned Business Certification Process Changing
  • Keeping Restaurants Relevant
  • SBDC on the Larry Meiller Show (WPR)
  • You Don't Know What You Don't Know... in HR
  • Upcoming Learning Opportunities
  • 2021 HR Trends: New World of Work — Are you keeping up
  • Cash is King: Understanding Cash Flow During COVID and Beyond
  • Launch into Leadership
  • Small Business Academy
We're All Innovating Contest
Contest provides a total of $3M to winners - apply by Oct. 18
The We’re All Innovating Contest is open to new and established Wisconsin businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The Contest’s goal is to reward as many Wisconsin companies as possible, with approximately 195 awards in the following categories:

  • Technology innovation to address COVID-19 impacts on health
  • Technology innovation to address COVID-19 impacts on businesses
  • Service and business operation innovations to respond to COVID-19 disruption.

For more information and to enter, visit The deadline for application is 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.
Madworks Seed Accelerator Applications Accepted until 10/11
Virtual 6-week cohort starts October 19th, offers $5,000 grant
Madworks seed accelerator provides grants, mentors, lean startup methodology, structure, access to next-round finance and more to selected early-stage companies. Participants receive up to a $5,000 grant, and the program follows lean startup methodology to help startups “build, measure, and learn” as quickly as possible. The program accepts early-stage companies from UW-Madison and the greater Madison community.

This fall, the program is being offered virtually in a 6-week format.

Women-Owned Business Certification
Learn more about this changing process!
Certifying your business as women-owned with the SBA enables you to compete for set-aside or sole-source federal contracts. The process for obtaining this certification is changing; women-owned small businesses will have to certify through SBA’s FREE online certification at

This October 21st webinar will walk through the new process, answering:
  • Does my NAIC qualify?
  • What is the market research of set-aside or sole source opportunities?
  • What documents do I need for WOSB vs EDWOSB?
Keeping Restaurants Relevant
Ideas to Pivot Your Business and Keep Viable During COVID-19
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, most food and beverage businesses had no choice but to close, either temporarily or permanently, or reconfigure their sources of revenue and operations to survive for an unknown period. Certain types have been able to stay open, and some have even experienced an increase in sales, but most are debating if and when they can resume business as usual. Industry analysts estimate that between 25- to 50-percent of all restaurants are closed for good. 

In the article linked below, the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council provides ideas for how restaurants can pivot and provide additional or altered products for additional revenue.

SBDC on the Larry Meiller Show NPR
Making a small business profitable is difficult at any time, these days it’s even harder. The Larry Meiller show hosted Michelle Somes-Booher, Director of the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center, this week about the Center's services and more!

You Don't Know What You Don't Know... in HR
Save time and money by avoiding costly problems
While human resources is its own field, employees in many early-stage small businesses assign HR coordination responsibilities to team members who do not have a background in the field. In addition, those roles are often just one set of responsibilities among many other tasks the employee needs to complete.

Given the "many hats" that ad-hoc HR staff need to wear in a small business, it is no wonder that costly mistakes can happen. Check out this brief guide to learn learn more about the top HR concerns.

Want to learn what mistakes your business could be making? Join our HR Basics for Non-HR Professionals course on October 22 & 23.
Upcoming Learning Opportunities
2021 HR Trends: New World of Work — Are you keeping up?
October 6, 2020
Annually, QTI surveys hundreds of employers to better understand HR challenges and leading trends to overcome these challenges. 

This survey explores topics such as talent attraction and engagement strategies, compensation and benefit plans, diversity and inclusion programs, and more. Join us as we share QTI’s latest survey results where we will provide you with data to drive decision making and actionable solutions to help your organization reach its full potential through people. 

Launch into Leadership
October 12-15, 2020
Taking on new supervisory responsibilities is a great opportunity and challenge. Many in supervisory roles have learned either by trial and error or by following what was done by their predecessor. In most cases, this is not a very effective strategy. This webinar series will start you in the right direction with fundamental leadership skills and ideas for how to continue your growth as a supervisor and leader.

Cash is King: Understanding Cash Flow During COVID and Beyond
October 20, 2020
Cash is the lifeforce of your business, and being able to control your cash flow is one significant way you can take some of the uncertainty out of running your business.

This free, interactive webinar is designed to provide you with a tool to help you forecast and plan your business cash flow, and the program instructor will walk you step-by-step how to use it. She will explain the process of forecasting and maximizing cash inflow and forecasting and minimizing cash outflow.

Small Business Academy
October 6-8, 2020
The Wisconsin Small Business Academy is a multiple-day virtual conference focused on providing the state’s entrepreneurs and start-up businesses an opportunity to connect with financial and technical resource providers, learn the tools needed to start and grow a business, and network with business owners.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore small business topics by choosing from various breakout sessions to be conducted during the event. Breakout sessions follow two tracks: Starting your Business or Growing your Business, and they will be led by experts in a specific area of business.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at or 608-263-2221 to request accommodations.

The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship in the University of Wisconsin System. It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.