Business News for January 12, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, and online courses:

News and Best Practices:
  • PPP Borrower Application Forms
  • Dane County Grant Program
  • Force for Positive Change Offers $10K Award
  • Shuttered Venues Grant Funding
  • Public Health Issues Order #12

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Spring 2021 SBDC Class Catalog Now Available
  • Biz Smart Sprint
  • Free Webinar: Online Retail Marketing for Small Businesses
Business Grants, News & Best Practices
PPP Borrower Application Forms
We shared some details of the PPP loan application process for First-Draw and Second-Draw loans in our newsletter late last week. Now, the application forms are available to help you determine what documents your lender needs from you for either of these applications:
Dane County Grant Program
Applications now being accepted
We wrote more about the grant program being administered by Dane Buy Local in our last newsletter. Grant applications are now open with the following criteria:

  • Is the business independently owned and local, with the main office based in Dane County?
  • Is this an established business, filing taxes?
  • Has your business experienced financial hardship, expected to continue for at least the next 3 months?
  • Have your business revenues decreased 30% or more in 2020 versus 2019?
  • Is your business a for-profit enterprise? 
  • Is the applicant a business owned by a person of color, woman-owned, veteran, or LGBT? 
  • Was the business in existence prior to March 15, 2020?

Applications now being accepted, see application for further program details
Force for Positive Change Offers $10K Award
Accepting Applications through January 19, 2021
The Force for Positive Change will provide financial awards to organizations addressing social challenges locally. At least six $10,000 prizes will be awarded to incorporated enterprises with a social mission and commitment to solving social or environmental challenges in a way that is sustainable, just and generates impact.
New this year—special prizes for organizations that have successfully executed a pivot in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, addressed structural racism or demonstrated a positive impact on Wisconsin’s rural population.
Shuttered Venues Grant Funding
Upcoming SBA Webinar provides additional details
Recognizing the staggering impact that COVID-19 has had on performance venues, the SBA has worked to create the Shuttered Venues Grant. This initiative was part of the Save Our Stages Act and passed with the most recent stimulus bill.

Details of this grant program are still emerging; for the most current information, we recommend attending the upcoming Shuttered Venues Grant Webinar, hosted by the SBA on January 14.

This new, targeted grant program is designed for businesses that are a “live venue operator or promoter, theatrical producer, or live performing arts organization operator, a relevant museum operator, a motion picture theatre operator, or a talent representative” that:

  • were fully operational on February 29, 2020 and
  • demonstrates a 25% reduction from the gross earned revenue during the same quarter in 2019 (or 2020, as applicable)
  • are open as of the date of the grant or intend to reopen

For more information, read this overview of the Shuttered Venues grant. Thank you to Luke Kempen of the Small Business Development Center at UW - Eau Claire for compiling this information!
Public Health Issues Order #12
Allows for Outdoor Gatherings of up to 50 People
Public Health Madison & Dane County has issued the latest COVID Order #12 in response to decreasing numbers of hospitalized and ICU COVID patients. This Order - which is in in effect as of 12:01 am on January 13 and expires on February 10 at 12:01am - keeps many of the same precautions intact that existed in the previous Order #11. A primary update is the increased limit on outdoor gatherings, which can now include as many as 50 participants.

Upcoming Virtual Learning Opportunities
Spring 2021 SBDC Class Catalog Now Available
Lots of New Classes!
Our Spring 2021 SBDC Class catalog is here! This semester's curriculum includes a variety of new courses and instructors covering topics like:
  • Series: Learning to Lead
  • HR Basics for non HR Professionals 
  • Hire Badgers: Bring Two Way Value to a Student Work Experience 
  • Connecting the Dots to Align your Business Strategy
  • Series: Cultivate Your Teams’ Productivity in the Time of COVID
  • Understanding Your Investment: Building Value in Your Business 
  • Buy, Build or Sell: Deciding Next steps for Your Business 

View these and all of our upcoming classes to learn more, register, and meet a few of our featured clients!
Biz Smart Sprint Can Help You Work Toward Your Business Goals!
Starts February 11, 2021
Biz Smart Sprint, a 6-week live virtual course that you can complete outside of your workday, will help you explore the basics and build on your business with actionable topics:

  • Learning how to think about your business holistically using the Business Model Canvas
  • Identifying your key customers and market
  • Building awareness of legal and operational considerations to help your business build a successful foundation from the start
  • Developing financial literacy by understanding the building blocks

Whether you are starting a brand-new business or looking to bring structure to the work you have already completed, Biz Smart Sprint is a great resource to set you on the right track. In addition, you will receive client access to GrowthWheel, which provides additional tools and worksheets to capture your thoughts in one place.
Free Webinar: Online Retail Marketing for Small Businesses
hosted by SBDC Client Emily Ruyle of WodBottom
To stay competitive during the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have had to figure out how to get online and bring visibility to their products. Emily Ruyle, of online retailer WodBottom, will discuss strategies small businesses can use to maximize their online presence, reach their customer segments and promote their products.

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.