Business News for August 6, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, and online courses:
  • Main Street Bounceback Grants Seek to Reduce Open Storefronts
  • Complete QTI's HR Trends survey to receive a free copy of the full report
  • Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small Business
  • Streamlined PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal Now Open 
  • National Small Business Week Virtual Summit
  • Join us at Forward Fest! BookMarkIT: Free Resources for Your Business
Business News, Updates, and Best Practices
Main Street Bounceback Grants Seek to Reduce Open Storefronts
The Main Street Bounceback Grants program provides $10,000 to new or existing businesses and non-profit organizations moving into vacant properties in Wisconsin’s downtowns and commercial corridors. Funds can be used to pay leases or mortgages, operational expenses and other business costs related to the newly opened location.

The program is open to new or existing businesses opening a new location or expanding operations in a vacant commercial space as of January 1, 2021. Grant funds are available as part of the American Recovery Plan Act and will be distributed by WEDC’s regional partners.

To start the application process, visit or contact Jason Fields at Madison Region Economic Partnership at or 608.571.0408.
Want to Know More About Local HR Trends?
Complete QTI's HR Trends survey to receive a free copy of the full report
Annually, QTI conducts an HR Trends Survey, designed to provide valuable insights that help participants overcome HR challenges with actionable solutions. 

This year’s survey will focus on topics such as:
  • remote/hybrid work
  • DEI
  • total rewards trends
  • talent attraction strategies...and more. 

QTI will be offering a webinar to our SBDC clients and friends to share some of the survey results. Keep an eye out for that event on our training calendar in late fall!
Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small Business
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has created a Cyber Essentials toolkit. The Essentials is designed for small and medium businesses to develop an actionable understanding of where to start implementing organizational cybersecurity practices.
Streamlined PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal Now Open 
On July 28, 2021, SBA launched a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program loans of $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA. The portal began accepting forgiveness applications on August 4, 2021.

5 Ways to Focus on Personal Development as a Business Owner
...and Why You Should!
By Sharita Humphrey
According to career and personal growth coach Kathy Caprino, “Personal growth is the process of growing stronger, more confident, and more effective as a person and an agent of change for your own life. It relates to how you see and perceive yourself, interact with others, engage with the world, and envision your future and your possibilities.”

This is why it’s important to cultivate a lifestyle that encourages personal growth alongside business growth, to allow for multiple levels of success. When you care about personal development (your own and that of any employees you oversee), you’ll foster a more engaged workplace, more efficient employee performance, and greater profitability over time.

Why Business Owners Should Focus on Personal Development
Here are significant benefits of personal development for business owners like you:
  • It sharpens your skills and gives them room to shine. You’ll never know until you try, right? A personal development journey might expose some hidden talents in you— something which you excel in and could use to grow your business.
  • It helps build personal, client, and employee confidence. Better workers result in a better workplace. This healthy environment allows for a more positive experience for a client and will eventually prompt the client to recommend your business to someone else.
  • It improves productivity and effectiveness. Improving your personal skills improves your work life. If you gain knowledge and acquire skills through personal development, you are empowering yourself to produce better results.
  • It boosts work motivation and job satisfaction. Working on personal development will motivate you to work harder. You’ll experience higher satisfaction when you have a clear path to follow. You’ll see a domino effect on your productivity and the overall productivity of your business.
  • Personal growth equals professional growth. Your personal development journey is the root of your growth as a business owner. An investment in yourself is never wasted!

How to Get Started with Personal Development
  • See a sneak peek of our fall SBDC classes (more classes still coming), and registers for anything that piques your interest!
  • Attend our Forward Fest event next Thursday, and learn more about free library resources available to help you with market research and more!
  • Read more about professional development as a business owner from the ASBDC blog
  • Talk to a mentor. This could be a business coach or a life coach. If you feel stuck in your role or feel like you aren’t growing, talk to someone who can help you uncover and take the next step. A professional mentor can help you achieve real improvement and help set up attainable milestones to get you out of that rut. Don't forget you can always sign up for small-business consulting through the SBDC.
  • Keep track of your progress. Small progress is still progress! Keep a journal and reflect on recent events, decisions and conversations. Through this, you will gain self-awareness that will help you set goals and assess progress. A great tool to help you with this is our free Navigating the New Normal workbook, which helps you assess your early responses during the pandemic, learn business best practices, and set practical, strategic goals moving forward in continually uncertain times.
National Small Business Week Virtual Summit
Join the SBA September 13-15
National Small Business Week 3-Day Virtual Conference, hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is happening Monday, September 13 – Wednesday, September 15, 2021 from 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m. CT.

Attend this free, online event to learn new business strategies, meet other business owners, and chat with industry experts!
We are facing unique challenges together. However, American small businesses continue to play a central role in building a strong country, prepared for any obstacles in the future.

Upcoming SBDC Learning Opportunity
BookMarkIT: Free Resources for Your Business
When taking your business from idea to reality, you’ll likely need a lot of answers to get your business off to a strong start. For example:
  • What do you need to know about patents for the product you’re trying to create?
  • What can local demographics tell you about potential customers?
  • How strong is the industry you’re looking to enter?
  • What should be included in your business plan?
  • Who are potential competitors?

Luckily, there are FREE databases, resources, and specialized experts available to help you answer these and many other questions – all found in your local libraries! Want to learn more? Put this session on your Holds List, and “check out” some great resources from your local libraries.
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.