Business News for May 29, 2020
Reopening Self-Assessment
Whether you are deciding if you are ready to reopen or looking to improve safety protocols, this COVID-19 self-assessment, developed by Public Health Madison & Dane County, can help. Submissions are anonymous, and the self-assessment should take less than15 minutes to complete.

At the end of the assessment, your "score" will be calculated to give you an idea of how your business is doing. The purpose of the score is to help you figure out how you can improve and is not used by PHMDC. Questions are weighted by importance.

Putting Your Products Online
Main Street Marketplace
If you've been looking to offer products online but have been intimidated about setting up the technology, WEDC's new Main Street Marketplace might be the solution for you.

The Marketplace, which launched this week, is a searchable, sortable database currently featuring more than 230 small businesses in   34 Main Street Communities . The goal of the initiative is to help small business owners communicate with customers about where their products are online instead of seeing them turn to large retailers. To be listed, a business needs to be within a Main Street district and contact its Main Street program director with information about online sales and shipping options. 
Free, On-Demand Webinar: Getting Your Products Online
Edible-Alpha® Program Manager, Sarah Larson, uses her 15+ years of experience working to sell food to provide this overview on starting or growing your online sales. Sarah has held Sales Management and Operations roles with two national CPG brands, including managing Amazon and Direct to Consumer sites. Additionally, she has supported many other entrepreneurs through sales support and business assistance.

This course covers:
  • Three Key Paths to Get Online Sales
  • Forming Your Online Strategy
  • Logistics and Operations Considerations
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Keywords
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Data Collection and Metrics

Note: While this webinar is designed for food businesses, the content is applicable to many products you might be interested in putting online.

News to Know
"Streatery" Program Expands Footprint for Madison Restaurants
The  City of Madison  has announced a new "Streatery" restaurant program, which would enable restaurants to expand their eating spaces into designated public sidewalks and street areas. This temporary measure would enable restaurants to increase revenue while operating under health guidelines that support physical distancing efforts.

Here to Hear Chamber Program
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce has created Here to Hear, a series designed to bring together Greater Madison business leaders to seek resiliency in the face of adversity.

These confidential, peer-based conversations, facilitated by Darcy Luoma, are open to any business leader, owner or decision-maker looking for support from their peers to discuss the obstacles they are encountering during this time.

City of Fitchburg Offers Biz Boost Loan Program
The City of Fitchburg has announced two new programs to assist Fitchburg businesses as they move to reopen. The City, along with the Fitchburg Community and Economic Development Department, approved a $150,000 Forward Fitchburg Biz Boost Loan Program. This program is designed to assist businesses with costs associated with reopening. Click here for more details & application materials. Applications are due by Friday, June 12, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

Temporary Expanded Outdoor Premise Application
The second program provides for consideration of a temporary change of premise to allow for expanded outdoor seating due to COVID-19 restrictions. Find the Temporary Expanded Outdoor Premise Application and Guidelines here.
Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities
There are a variety of COVID-19 tax relief opportunities available for businesses that have been severely impacted by coronavirus, including the Employee Retention Credit, Paid Sick Leave Credit, and Child Care Credit . If you think your business may be eligible for these tax credits, connect with your accountant. More information is also available at IRS Tax Relief Information.
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.