Business News for February 1, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, funding opportunities, and online courses:

  • Upcoming SBA webinars
  • SBA Releases FAQ for Shuttered Venues Grant
  • Small Business Tax Tips for 2021
  • State Bar of Wisconsin Launches free non-litigation business law services for small businesses
  • $5,000 Door Dash Grants

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Build a Better Business Plan with Biz Smart Sprint
  • Free Webinar: How to Make Money & Grow Your Business from Home
  • Learning to Lead Series for emerging and aspiring leaders
  • Plan for 2021 by Reflecting on Free Navigating the New Normal guide
Business News, Resources, and Best Practices
Still Have Questions for the SBA?
Upcoming webinars focus on PPP and tax relief
SBA Wisconsin is providing coronavirus relief information webinars to assist small businesses, nonprofits, and eligible recipients in recovering from the pandemic.

Coronavirus Tax Relief for Employers & Business Owners:
Paycheck Protection Program: Re-Launch

For more information, visit PPP information is available in 17 languages here
SBA Releases FAQ for Shuttered Venues Grant
Are you a theatrical producer, talent representative, venue promoter, or do you operate a live venue, live performing arts organization, movie house or cultural institution, and have you been impacted by COVID-19? The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant included in the Economic Aid Act may provide grants of up to $10 million for eligible entities. 

SBA has released new FAQs on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant addressing eligibility, definitions, application, use of funds, business size, employees and revenue, and subsidiaries. 
Small Business Tax Tips for 2021
excerpted from In Business Magazine
With so many new, expanded, and changing initiatives providing support for small businesses (Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and more) taxes became more complicated in 2020. Here are some tips for filing your taxes, as shared by InBusiness magazine:

  • PPP: Any funds that a business received and were forgiven through the PPP are not considered taxable income for 2020, though if there are funds that were not forgiven, those will be taxable business income. However, the IRS notes that any expenses a business owner paid with money from those PPP loans cannot be deducted from their taxable income.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Any business receiving funding from an EIDL is still required to pay income taxes on this loan.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC): To qualify, the business must have been fully or partially closed due to a government-mandated shutdown or experienced a decline in gross receipts of more than 50% for any given quarter when compared with the same quarter in 2019. Employers that qualify for the ERTC are eligible for a tax credit equal to 50% of qualifying wages, up to $10,000 per employee between March 13, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): The FFCRA required most businesses to provide sick or family leave to employees who were directly impacted by COVID-19. Businesses that made these payments can receive tax credits for 100% of the cost of sick-leave pay, family-leave pay, qualified health care plan expenses, and the employer’s share of FICA taxes for sick-leave expenses they incurred under the FFCRA.
  • Business interest expense deduction increases: Lastly, under the CARES Act, the allowable business interest expense deduction was increased for some business entities from 30% to 50% of adjusted taxable income.

State Bar of Wisconsin Launches New Initiative for Small Businesses Free non-litigation business law services, available beginning Feb. 5th
The Business Law Section of the Wisconsin State Bar is launching a new initiative to provide eligible individuals and organizations with non-litigation business law services they could not otherwise afford, especially on urgent legal needs arising in the wake COVID-19.

To receive the services, clients must request an appointment for a phone or Zoom consultation, which will be scheduled through the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic (MVLC). The MVLC will coordinate the scheduling and the consultations will be scheduled on Fridays at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. beginning on February 5 with the consultation lasting up to one hour. 

For more information about services and exclusions, visit
$5,000 Door Dash Grants
Applications due by February 17, 2021
DoorDash is providing $5,000 grants to restaurants selected through an application process. In Wisconsin, this grant is open to restaurants in Madison and Milwaukee; DoorDash will be providing 30 grants in each city.

Selection Criteria
  • Must have 3 stores or fewer currently operating
  • Must have $3M or less in 2019 annual revenue per store
  • Must employ 50 people or fewer per store 

Upcoming Virtual Learning Opportunities
Build a Better Business Plan with Biz Smart Sprint
Starts February 11, 2021
Starting a business is always a blur, whether you have some business experience or just a passion for your product or service. Join us for this six-session class to better bring your ideas into focus.

In addition to course content, you will receive client access to GrowthWheel, which provides additional tools and worksheets to capture your thoughts in one place.
Free Webinar: How to Make Money & Grow Your Business from Home
hosted by the URL Doctor, Kim Merritt
Whether you are a small business owner who needs specialized help with projects or a freelancer looking to offer your skills to the broader economy, this webinar provides you with more information about how to better utilize online freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

Learning to Lead Series
Starts February 22
Our Learning to Lead Series is specifically designed to help aspiring and emerging leaders start their leadership path on the right foot. Sessions are designed to be skill-based and interactive. Series price includes a 15% discount!

Use our Guide to Build a Plan for 2021
Upcoming courses can help you with your strategic planning process
Our free Navigating the New Normal COVID Response Guide is rooted in business planning and designed to help you set new goals and mitigate future risk. Revisit your guide today to jump-start your planning, then join one of these courses to dive in:

  • BizSmart Sprint – 2/11 – 3/18/2021. Ideal for businesses looking to start, refine, or grow their business. Excellent for "101"-level planning.
  • Connecting the Dots to Align your Business Strategy – 3/5/2021. Using visual tools, this virtual group workshop will help you explore your business' purpose, goals, alignment and story.
  • Understanding Your Investment: Building Value in Your Business – 3/23 & 3/24/2021. This course will help you understand the basics of how businesses are valued as well as what quantitative and qualitative steps you can take to increase value.
  • Buy, Build or Sell: Deciding Next Steps for Your Business – 4/21/2021. Your business finances - plus certain qualitative factors - can provide you with a better understanding of trends that can guide your decisions. If you're questioning whether now is the time to buy, build or sell your business, this course can point you in the right direction.
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.