Business News for May 10, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, and online courses:
  • Dane County Small Business Grant Program Reopened
  • Wisconsin Expands Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
  • New App Connects Veterans with Essential Services
  • Affordable Health Care Options for Small Business Owners

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Buy, Build, or Sell - Next Steps for Your Business
  • Fearless Performance Management
  • Biz Smart Sprint
  • Building a Better Web Presence: Business Websites 101
  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Business News, Updates, and Best Practices
Dane County Small Business Grant Program Reopened
applications accepted until funds run out
Dane Buy Local is administering Round 3 of the Dane County Small Business grants. For-profit business owners can fill out an application form at Applications will be accepted until funds run out.
Criteria used:
  • Priority will be considered for businesses who have experienced a loss of 30% or more in revenue in 2020 vs 2019.
  • Priority will be considered for businesses in the following industries: Restaurant, Retail, Independent Contractor, Gym or Fitness Center, Lodging, and the Service Industry.
  • Grants will be issued between $1000 and $50,000.
  • Only one grant in this Round will be issued per FEIN, ITIN, or SSN
  • A website or social media account will be used to verify your business
Wisconsin Expands Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
new COVID-related reasons support workers initially denied benefits
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has launched an expansion of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA). The U.S. Dept. of Labor expanded eligibility for the program to include three new COVID-related reasons under which a person may qualify. Newly eligible persons who were initially denied PUA benefits will receive a notification that they can re-apply, and depending on when someone was first affected by the pandemic, they could potentially receive up to 79 weeks of back payments.

The new PUA expansion includes someone:
  • who was denied continued unemployment benefits because they did not return or accept an offer of work at a worksite that was out of compliance with local, state, or national health and safety standards directly related to COVID-19.
  • Who provides services to an educational institution or educational service agency and is unemployed or partially unemployed because of volatility in their work schedule that is directly caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Whose hours have been reduced or who was laid off as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency (i.e. a server at a restaurant who was laid off for eight weeks while the restaurant was closed for in-person dining but remained open for carry-out and delivery service).

New App Connects Veterans with Essential Services
The Center for Veterans Issues recently launched a veteran support app called CVIHelp. This app, designed for veterans, caregivers, military families, and dependent survivors, helps connect each user with resources and is free and available on Apple, Android, and browser-based platforms.

Affordable Health Care Options for Small Business Owners
available to StartingBlock Madison members
StartingBlock Madison is offering benefits for members beginning May 1. Members can utilize cafeteria-style insurance plans starting at $25/month, including: vision, dental, life and telehealth. For information about insurance offerings and membership, email Membership Manager, Caleb Walters:

Upcoming SBDC Virtual Learning Opportunities
Buy, Build, or Sell - Next Steps for Your Business
May 18, 2021
It takes a lot of sweat equity to build up a successful business, and most business owners will eventually want to retire. For many, retirement may translate into selling your business – and it is crucial to prepare for a big exit, right from the start.

Even if you never plan on selling, building your business as though you intend to someday will make everything run more efficiently – you’ll be able to see how your business is trending overall, maintain a cleaner financial picture, and implement better standard operating procedures. This class will help you understand how to analyze your business’ financial performance as well as some qualitative factors to consider when making decisions regarding your investment in your business.
Fearless Performance Management
starts June 21
For new and continuing managers alike, the performance management process can be an intimidating one. Yet this opportunity for two-way feedback can become one of your greatest assets as you and your team members work together collaboratively.

This class provides you with specific tools you can use to set performance goals, document and manage performance, maintain ongoing communication, and develop performance improvement plans. 
Building a Better Web Presence: Business Websites 101
June 29, 2021
In this “101” course, we will discuss elements to consider to creating a strong business website. Whether you are looking to create your website from scratch or want a “checklist” of recommendations to evaluate what you currently have, this event is a great place to start.
Some topics we will discuss include:
  • Determining what information is most important – don’t let your message get lost!
  • Creating a succinct CTA (call to action)
  • Considerations for mobile-friendly websites
  • Setting up your menu pages
  • Suggested website resources
Biz Smart Sprint
Starts July 15
Biz Smart Sprint is your introduction into the world of entrepreneurship. In this live, virtual 6-week course, you will learn the building blocks you need to become a successful entrepreneur. Each week, you’ll discover the key components you need to start a business, including the Business Model Canvas business planning tool, understanding your customers and market, developing a marketing strategy, legal and operational considerations, and financial basics.
Leading with Emotional Intelligence
July 20, 2021
More than ever during the pandemic, being an emotionally intelligent leader has been a key factor in your organization's overall success.

Emotional Intelligence is all about people skills – how well you know yourself and your emotions and how well you read and interact with others and their emotions. Learn about how the brain, the body and emotions affect each other, and then how to better manage your own emotions and the emotions of others so you can have clearer, more accurate communications that create cooperation and collaboration in the workplace.
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.