Business News for December 3, 2020
Today's message includes the following funding opportunities, news, best practices, and online courses:

News and Best Practices:
  • $45 Million in Assistance for Restaurants Impacted by COVID
  • Supporting Local This Holiday Season
  • Madison Area Fall Business Survey Results Released
  • Calculating the Cost of Debt
  • Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Businesses
Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Digital Marketing and Social Media Conference
  • The Scoop on Free Legal Services for Wisconsin Entrepreneurs
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Webinars
Business News & Best Practices
$45 Million in Assistance for Restaurants Impacted by COVID
Eligible businesses will receive $20,000 grant by year-end  
Gov. Tony Evers announced with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) that restaurants and other targeted small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive $45 million in assistance, bringing the total assistance distributed to Wisconsin businesses this year to more than $220 million.

The program, We’re All In For Restaurants, is the third phase of the We're All In grant program and is funded by the CARES Act. Unlike previous We’re All In grants, businesses will not have to apply for the grants, but will be identified and contacted directly by the DOR based on the businesses’ state tax records.

According to preliminary DOR estimates, restaurants will account for roughly 95 percent of the approximately 2,000 businesses to receive the funds. The program will target businesses with annual revenues of more than $1 million and less than $7 million. Previous state grant programs have focused on businesses with annual revenues of less than $1 million.

Supporting Local This Holiday Season
Take the Pledge!
Campaign asks consumers to focus on shopping local
COVID-19 has further highlighted the importance of local business to our economy, sense of place, and so much more. This winter, Destination Madison is asking consumers to take the pledge to shop local this holiday season.

This website also includes a full social media kit, including:
  • Graphics for various social media platforms
  • Sample curated lists pointing to specific businesses (examples include virtual events, toasting your team, and a sortable database of business by category, location, and more)

Related topics from our spring newsletter archive:
Ideas for Supporting Local from WEDC (and the SBDC)
WEDC's consumer-focused website provides those who want to help their local communities a variety of ideas for how to be a good customer to the local businesses they care about.

The site also includes a search engine for Main Street businesses, and their social media presence includes video interviews with local businesses, conducted by WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes.

Fun fact! Many of these tips were contributed by our own UW-Madison SBDC business consultants Anne Inman and Michelle Somes-Booher!
Dane Buy Local Holiday Auction
The Dane Buy Local holiday auction provides a different venue for local businesses to share their services and wares - with product offerings ranging from wine to pet boarding, fitness options, groceries, and much more.

Ends December 9th.

Madison Area Fall Business Survey Results Released
Survey confirms urgency of pandemic business situation; need for clear messaging and balance between health and economic needs
The Fall 2020 Business Survey - released by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce; Destination Madison; Downtown Madison, Inc.; Madison Black Chamber of Commerce and the Latino Chamber of Commerce - results included responses from 503 Greater Madison businesses.

Selected key findings include:

  • 66 percent rated consumer and employee confidence as their most pressing need, with many citing inconsistent and fearful messaging about the safety of workplaces;
  • 78 percent have experienced a decline in revenue, with 30 percent losing more than half their revenue;
  • While businesses have insulated their employees, 53 percent have still experienced a reduction in employee benefits or workforce;
  • 57 percent are utilizing at least some remote work, up from 28 percent pre-pandemic;

Survey results are available upon request by emailing Erik Greenfield
Calculating the Cost of Debt
from the ASBDC blog
Taking out a loan provides you with the opportunity to invest in your business' capital or to steady your cash flow. Yet a loan - whether through equity financing or debt equity - has its own cost that reaches beyond the monthly payment. In this ASBDC blog post, learn more about both types of debt and how to decide whether the cost is worth it.
Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Businesses
Recorded webinar from Wegner CPAs
The tax experts at Wegner CPAs developed a webinar on Year-end Tax Planning Strategies for Businesses to help educate business owners about the unique opportunities and challenges facing taxpayers in 2020.

Topics include:
  • Accounting and tax implications of PPP loan forgiveness
  • Tax law updates and strategies for 2020
  • Form 1099-NEC is new for 2020 – who must file?
  • Required W-2 additions including S-Corp health and personal use of a vehicle
  • How to save tax by using Wisconsin entity level election for S-Corporations and Partnerships
  • Net Operating Loss carryback opportunities
  • And more!

Year-End Tax Planning Strategies - webinar and slides available on the Wegner CPAs website
Upcoming Virtual Learning Opportunities
Digital Marketing & Social Media Conference
December 8, 2020
Our one-day digital marketing conference brings together four marketing experts in one place to help you advance your digital marketing strategy. Sessions are offered in a live virtual format and are designed to give you the opportunity to dig in and make progress on your work.

Use code DMSM75OFF for $75 off of your registration fee
The Scoop on Free Legal Services for Wisconsin Entrepreneurs
December 10th, 8:30 - 9:30 am
The Directors of the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinics at UW-Madison Law School and Marquette University will talk about how these Clinics work, the services they provide, who is eligible for and how to access their services, and resources they have to help your business launch and grow.

Both clinics provide pro bono legal services for Wisconsin businesses that lack access to the traditional legal marketplace. Operating like independent law offices, they use law students, supervising faculty and private sector attorneys to provide legal services inn areas like business entity formation, corporate governance, contracts, financing and more.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Webinars
More borrowers have used their PPP loan proceeds and are now eligible to submit their PPP forgiveness applications to their lenders. Walk through the PPP loan forgiveness process and find SBA partners who can assist you. 

Webinars are free and require advance registration.

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.