Business News for January 22, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, funding opportunities, and online courses:

SBA (and Related) Updates
  • PPP Loan Forgiveness Process
  • Tax Implications to Note
  • SBA Payments on 7(a), 504, and Microloans
  • Upcoming SBA webinars

News and Best Practices:
  • Wisconsin Mask Mandate Extended
  • Small Business Equity & Recovery Grant (SBER)
  • Businesses Requested to Take Vaccine Survey
  • Main Street Relief Fund

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Build a Better Business Plan with Biz Smart Sprint
  • Free Webinar: Online Retail Marketing for Small Businesses
  • Learning to Lead Series
  • Revisit Free Guide for 2021 Strategic Planning (plus 2021 SBDC courses to help you with strategic planning)
SBA (and Related) Updates
PPP Loan Forgiveness Process
Updated forms released, including one for borrowers below $150,000
The Economic Aid Act made changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including re-opening the program to first-time borrowers, creating “second draw” loans for previous borrowers and adding new categories of forgiveness eligible expenses.

Because of these changes, the SBA needed to update the PPP loan forgiveness forms, which were released on Tuesday (January 19, 2021).

  • Revised Form 3508S, now available to borrowers with PPP loans of $150,000 or less. This form can be found here.
  • The SBA also released updated 3508EZ and 3508 forgiveness forms.
Tax Implications to Note
Federal provisions that have not yet been adopted into WI law
The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was enacted on December 27, 2020. There are several significant provisions of the bill that have not been adopted into Wisconsin law and will affect the filing of 2020 Wisconsin income/franchise tax returns:
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Paycheck Protection Program Expenses
  • Subsequent Paycheck Protection Program Loans
  • Emergency Grants of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Targeted EIDL Advances
  • Subsidy for Certain Loan Payments
  • Grants for Shuttered Venue Operations

This information is subject to change if changes are made by the Wisconsin Legislature. We highly recommend you consult with your tax preparer about your specific circumstances and Wisconsin taxation of any PPP loans or EIDL grants. 

SBA Payments on 7(a), 504, and Microloans
Program extended, more complex
As part of the original SBA debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020.

For the extension of this program, the SBA will make payments on limited SBA loans; read the documentation linked below for details.

Have Additional Questions for the SBA?
These upcoming webinars are a good place to start
SBA Wisconsin is providing coronavirus relief information webinars to assist small businesses, nonprofits, and eligible recipients in recovering from the pandemic.

For more information, visit PPP information is available in 17 languages here
Business News & Funding Opportunities
Wisconsin Mask Mandate Extended
As of January 19, Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #104 and Emergency Order #1 establishing a new statewide public health emergency and face coverings requirement as the state continues to expand vaccination distribution across the state.

The newer, highly contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus, in addition to the limited vaccinations having been administered so far, are primary reasons for the Orders.

The Department of Health Services (DHS) also announced Wisconsinites 65 years or older will be eligible for the vaccine starting Mon., Jan. 25. Distribution will be dependent on the number of vaccines provided by the federal government.

  • Executive Order 104 (Declaring a State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency)
  • Emergency Order 1 (extending the statewide mask mandate, effective immediately, until March 20, 2021)
City of Madison Small Business Equity & Recovery Grant (SBER)
Applications due by Feb. 10th at midnight
SBER aims to focus on businesses owned by people of color.

  • All independently owned/operated businesses owned by historically underrepresented populations (see definitions below) are eligible, however, priority will be given to businesses owned by people of color.
  • Businesses must have annual revenues less than $750,000.00.

City of Madison Equity & Recovery Grants - grant overview and application
Businesses Requested to Take Vaccine Survey
State agencies looking to support vaccine rollout; seeking information
Please consider taking this business-related COVID-19 vaccine survey to help two state agencies understand what employers are planning in order to support them in the best ways possible.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services want to make sure that employers have the right resources to encourage and facilitate vaccine protection in their workplaces.

Main Street Relief Fund
Applications due February 5, awarded late February
The Main Street Relief Fund focuses on providing relief to bars, clubs, restaurants, or music venues. For this round of funding, priority will be given to businesses that are owned by people of color or women and have not received other forms of relief or financial assistance.

A grant award of $10,000 will be made to each selected recipient. Grant funds must be used to pay for business expenses (rent, payroll, PPE purchases, etc.) and cannot be used for any personal expenses.

Before you apply, please have basic financial documentation ready to upload. 
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!
Revisit Free Guide for 2021 Strategic Planning
Plus, check out SBDC courses to help you plan for 2021
We wrote our Navigating the New Normal COVID Response Guide (available at no cost in both English and Spanish) as a direct response to the many challenges we saw our clients facing during the COVID pandemic. While the guide includes a section to help business owners reflect on their initial crisis reaction, it is also rooted in business planning and designed to help you set new goals and mitigate future risk. With the start of 2021, this is a great time to revisit those ideas and plan for the new year.

SBDC courses focused on strategic planning:
  • BizSmart Sprint – 2/11 – 3/18/2021. Ideal for businesses looking to start, refine, or grow their business - and for those looking complete a formal business plan in order to seek financing. 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. This workshop is a great way to connect with other business owners for inspiration and encouragement..
  • Understanding Your Investment: Building Value in Your Business – 3/23 & 3/24/2021. Better understanding business valuation is a great way to build your investment - long before you plan to sell. 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. 2020 taught us that nothing is ever certain. Yet 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.

In particular, we recommend reviewing this guide contact to jump-start your thinking before attending Connecting the Dots to Align Your Business Strategy or Buy, Build or Sell: Deciding the Next Steps for Your Business.
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.