Business News for February 23, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, and online courses:
  • Changes to PPP rules to reach the smallest businesses
  • WEDC Entrepreneurship Support Program focuses on LGBTQ, minoritized, veteran and women entrepreneurs
  • gBETA Madison Startup Accelerator Spring 202
  • Improve Communication with Your Remote Team
  • Go Global Initiative supports Wisconsin Business Interested in Exporting

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • HR Basics for Non-HR Professionals
  • Free session: Hire Badgers: Bringing Two-Way Value to a Student Work Experience
  • Free session: Connecting the Dots to Align Your Business Strategy
  • Series: Cultivate Your Teams’ Productivity in the Time of COVID
  • Communication & Delegation
Business News, Resources, and Best Practices
Changes to PPP rules to reach the smallest businesses
Focus on Lending to Small Businesses
The Biden-Harris administration is announcing several reforms to build on this success by further targeting the PPP to the smallest businesses and those that have been left behind in previous relief efforts. Specifically, the Biden-Harris administration will be:
  • Instituting a 14-day period, starting Wednesday, during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for relief through the Program.
  • Helping sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals receive more financial support.
  • Eliminating an exclusionary restriction that prevents small business owners who are delinquent on their federal student loans from obtaining relief through the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Ensuring access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to apply for relief. 

WEDC Entrepreneurship Support Program
Program will provide $200K total to LGBTQ, minoritized, veteran and women entrepreneurs
Through the Entrepreneurship Support Program, WEDC is helping to strengthen entrepreneurial communities and support new ventures through promoting entrepreneurship and supporting the success of Wisconsin entrepreneurs.
This program is a component of WEDC’s Capacity Building Grant Program. Application acceptance will end on March 8, 2021.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Entrepreneurship Support grants will be awarded through one annual competitive process, with applications evaluated based on criteria including project alignment with program goals, applicant experience, project uniqueness, service need, impact, service area, collaboration and financial need. All complete applications that are submitted will be ranked to determine final award recipients.
  • Applicants are required to contribute matching funds equal to the amount of WEDC grant funding requested, which may include in-kind contributions of no more than 50% of the total match required.
  • Applicants are limited to one grant per application year. Entrepreneurship Support funding is not available for activities that are otherwise eligible to be funded through other programs offered by WEDC or its partners.

Are you an Accidental Exporter?
Go Global Initiative supports businesses looking to export
Many businesses made significant operational changes during COVID. If one of those changes for your business was securing or exploring export opportunities, you may have had to make the shift quickly.

Yet you do not have to explore the world of exporting on your own. The Go Global Initiative provides opportunities to connect with International Trade Consultant Chad Hoffman or learn from other resources such as the Go Global newsletter or recorded Export Pro Series webinar library.
Improve Communication with Your Remote Team
Understand communication styles to increase effectiveness
Is your team working remotely? While you've likely moved past many of the initial logistical challenges of working apart, it can still be difficult to communicate effectively - especially if members of your team have a different communication style than you.

In the article linked below, learn some strengths and challenges each DiSC profile might experience in regard to remote work, as well as some tips for working best with each style.

gBETA Madison Startup Accelerator Spring 2021
Application Deadline: March 19, 2021
gBETA is a program of nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor. gBETA is a free, seven-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity.

Participating Companies Receive:
  • Access to a community of entrepreneurs including their fellow cohort members, as well as gener8tor and gBETAalumni.
  • A formal relationship with at least 2-3 mentors with relevant expertise.
  • Introductions to the gener8tor network of successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and technologists.
  • Individualized coaching and mentorship from the gener8tor team. 

Upcoming SBDC Virtual Learning Opportunities
Are You and Your Team Feeling "Pandemic Fine?"
Cultivate your resilience, motivation, and productivity with our series, starting March 8, 2021
If you or your team is looking for new tools to help you manage your team remotely, build your resilience, or increase your motivation, this series is for you. A few of the classes have free "mini" versions to help you learn some of the concepts, or pay for the full class to build on your knowledge with actionable tools!

SERIES INCLUDES all 3 courses for just $535 - that's 15% off!

HR Basics for Non-HR Professionals
March 2 & 3, 2021
Whether you're a new leader who wants to know the basics, a small business owner or manager with HR responsibilities as part of your role, or a business that does not have a dedicated HR expert on your staff, this is the program for you.

Topics Include:
  • Employment laws most often violated by small businesses
  • Independent contractors vs. employees
  • Exempt vs. non-exempt employees
  • Overtime and other pay
  • FMLA, OSHA, harassment policies, and more
  • Disciplinary processes
... and more!
Hire Badgers: Bringing Two-Way Value to a Student Work Experience
Free session, March 4, 2021
Did you know that the UW-Madison Work-Study Program, previously reserved for on-campus and non-profit organizations, has been expanded to small businesses – and even covers 75% of the wages earned? Or that many UW-Madison students pursue internship opportunities as a way to develop new skills and explore career pathways while they are studying at UW?  

If you’ve ever wondered about hiring a UW-Madison student, this session is for you! We’ll discuss the differences between the Work-Study Program and student internship opportunities and help you understand the logistics of both programs, as well as the opportunity to learn more about how to make the experience a successful one for both you and the student.  
Connecting the Dots to Align Your Business Strategy
Free group session focused on business planning March 5, 2021
Create a clear picture for decision-making and goal achievement in your business for 2021 in a Constellation Workshop. In this 2-hour virtual group workshop, you will explore purpose, goals, alignment, your story, and the benefits of visualizing them. Once the session is complete, you’ll have your own Constellation as a focus for 2021 and guidance and direction on how to update it on your own or with your team.
Communication & Delegation
Starts March 15, 2021
With many teams working remotely, there are more distractions and more chances for messages to be lost across varied communication channels.

In this course, you will have the opportunity to take the DiSC assessment, which will help you better understand your own leadership style and gain insight into the priorities and abilities of other members of your team. By knowing how your team members process and prioritize information, you can better tap into their motivation, explain topics meaningfully, and become a more effective delegator.
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.