Business News for January 14, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, and online courses:

News and Best Practices:
  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program - more details and resource link
  • First Draw PPP Loans: When can borrowers reapply or request an increase?
  • Why You Should Write a Formal Business Plan

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Biz Smart Sprint
  • Free Webinar: Online Retail Marketing for Small Businesses
  • Learning to Lead Series
Business News & Best Practices
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program
Applications coming soon
Recognizing the staggering impact that COVID-19 has had - on performance venues, movie theaters, talent representatives, museums, etc. - the SBA has worked to create the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program (SVOG). This is a new, targeted grant program which is not yet accepting applications.


  • 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
  • did not receive a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020
  • can still apply if you have already received a COVID EIDL loan or plan to apply for one

May qualify for grants equal to 45% of gross earned revenue (if in operation on January 1, 2019). For an eligible entity who began operation after January 1, 2019: the lesser of the average monthly gross revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by 6 OR $10 Million. These funds must be used for specific expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities.

Next Steps
  • Prepare monthly revenues and statements about how you would use funds if you were awarded the grant.
  • Continue to check for information on the differences between SBA funding types, regularly updated FAQs, an upcoming chart outlining the differences between different types of SBA support, and more
  • Questions? – put topic of question in subject line to help ensure your question is properly directed
First Draw PPP Loans
When can borrowers reapply or request an increase?
As revised in the Economic Aid Act, the SBA has now provided guidance for lenders about when borrowers can reapply for a new First Draw PPP Loan or request an increase. That guidance is available here and applies to specific partnerships, seasonal employers, farmers and ranchers, and to borrowers who:
  • fully repaid a First Draw PPP Loan before December 27, 2020 and the SBA has not remitted a forgiveness payment
  • returned (or repaid) part of a First Draw PPP Loan, the Lender reported to SBA before December 27, 2020
  • did not accept the full amount of a First Draw PPP Loan for which they were approved
Why You Should Write a Formal Business Plan
Writing a business plan can seem like an overwhelming prospect for someone who is trying to start a new business and put countless ideas into place. However, your business plan should be a living document that helps you clarify your thinking, establish accountability, and seek funding.

  • Want to learn more about why you should write a business plan? Read the full blog post from Melissa Meschke, Wisconsin SBDC Center Director at UW-Stevens Point
  • Register for Biz Smart Sprint to create or refine your business plan
Upcoming Virtual Learning Opportunities
Build a Better Business Plan with Biz Smart Sprint
Starts February 11, 2021
2020 was a tumultuous year for nearly all businesses. Whether your experience included ideas for a new business that hasn't started, a sudden pivot due to COVID-19, or the notion that you want to improve on the work you have done so far, Biz Smart Sprint is a great way to learn the basics, take stock of your business holistically, and make important decisions to help you move forward. 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: 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.

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 and to help new leaders learn HR fundamentals along with skills for working with different communication styles, navigating conflict, delegating tasks, and transitioning from worker to leader. Series price includes a 15% discount!
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.