Update on Lodging Property Grant Program for COVID-19
October 16, 2020
Dear WH&LA Members,

More information has come to light on Wisconsin’s COVID-19 Lodging Property Grant Program, which opens on Monday for applications. In addition to the email sent out yesterday, we now know the details as they appear in the Grant Announcement.

Timeframe: The application materials are expected to be posted later today at the state’s COVID-19 Lodging Grant Program Website. Applications are due by 2:00pm on Monday, October 26, 2020. Notification and grant execution are expected in November. A final report will be due by February 1, 2021.

Eligibility: The Department of Administration (DOA), who is administering the program, has issued the following eligibility requirements (emphasis added):

4.1 Eligible Applicant
Eligible lodging operator shall meet all of the following requirements:
  1. Be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company or joint venture that owns and operates lodging properties in Wisconsin,
  2. If an entity registered with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, have one of the following statuses as of the Grant Announcement closing date: “restored to good standing”, “incorporated/qualified/registered,” “organized,” or “registered,”
  3. Must conduct operations within Wisconsin and eligible locations must be permanent locations operating within the state,
  4. Eligible locations are limited to a hotel, motel, or bed and bed and breakfast establishment in Wisconsin under a license issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) or its local health department agent that operates for the benefit of public health and safety, 
  5. Must not have any current tax delinquency with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue at the time of application
  6. Must be in operation since at least September 1, 2019.

4.2 Ineligible Applicants
  1. Organizations that have received funding through another State of Wisconsin CARES Program may be ineligible or may not be eligible for the full benefit of this program based on receipt of funds through other programs.
  2. Seasonal, unlicensed, vacation (e.g., cabins, cottages, homes) and temporary lodging properties.
  3. Other organizations which are not explicitly eligible in section 4.1 as determined by DOA.

Use of Funds: The DOA has stated that eligible use of the fund includes, but is not limited to, the following: 
  • Are necessary expenditures incurred or revenues lost due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19),
  • Are expenses incurred or revenues lost by the applicant organization between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020,
  • Are expenses incurred or revenues lost in Wisconsin or in direct support of the lodging property in Wisconsin,
  • Were not reimbursed and are not under consideration for reimbursement of another program.

As indicated in yesterday’s email, the state is anticipating average awards of $175 per room, but they will also be basing the criteria off of need. The way the grant language is written we believe there is potential for the award amounts to fluctuate in either direction based on the number of qualified applicants. Need will apparently be based off of financial information from 2019.

Multiple Property Operators: The announcement contains a statement that you may only submit one application for all eligible properties that you are questing funding for. Due to the nature of the hotel ownership / management structure WH&LA is seeking clarification from the state and we will share the information with you as soon as it becomes available.

Expect another email alert today when the application is posted. We wish you the best of luck in securing a grant, please let us know if there is anything you need from WH&LA during the process.

Kind regards,

Bill Elliott, CAE
WH&LA President & CEO