Business News for May 24, 2021
Today's message includes the following news, best practices, and online courses:
  • Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants now open
  • Wisconsin Employer Vaccine Forum
  • Spectrum offers free advertising to minority businesses
  • Affordable Health Care Options for Small Business Owners
  • New Gener8or Program for high school students

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:
  • Fearless Performance Management
  • Biz Smart Sprint
  • Building a Better Web Presence: Business Websites 101
  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Business News, Updates, and Best Practices
Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants
Applications open through 4:30 pm, June 7
Wisconsin businesses can now apply for the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants. These $5,000 grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan, and the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants program is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue (DOR). 

A business may apply if all the following criteria are met:
  • The business started operating on or before December 31, 2020, is still operating in 2021, and suffered an economic loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The individual or entity filed its 2019 federal and Wisconsin income or franchise tax return.
  • The business has more than $10,000 and less than $7 million in annual revenues shown on their federal tax return.
  • At least 75% of the business's value of real and tangible personal property owned or rented and used by the business is located in Wisconsin.
  • At least 75% of the amount of the business's labor costs are incurred by individuals performing services for the business in Wisconsin.
  • The individual or entity must not be on one of the following lists:
  • Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry
  • Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Debarred Contractors List
  • Wisconsin Department of Administration Ineligible Vendors Directory
  • The business must not be a governmental unit or primarily engaged in crop production, animal production or aquaculture, be a lessor of real estate, or be a nonprofit organization.

Additional information and application 
Wisconsin Employer Vaccine Forum
WEDC provides employer guidance surrounding your vaccines
In Episode 2 of the Wisconsin Employer Vaccine Forum, you’ll learn about vaccine communication and policy in the workplace. Join Hannah Renfro, attorney at Lake Effect HR & Law, Agatha Raynor, attorney at Crivello Carlson, and Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, as they discuss:
  • Legal and practical implications to consider when addressing, requiring or validating employee vaccination
  • Americans with Disabilities Act considerations like whether vaccination proof is a disability-related inquiry
  • How to not violate employee medical rights and protections

Spectrum offers free advertising to minority businesses
Applications due May 31
In partnership with several regional SCORE Mentors groups, as well as local chambers and multicultural associations, Spectrum Reach is offering a Pay It Forward program in which select minority-owned businesses receive complimentary advertising and marketing resources this spring. Selected businesses will receive: 
  • Three-month television advertising schedule (July–September);
  • A free 30-second commercial through Waymark;
  • Support from local marketing experts;
  • Access to on-demand educational content and expert industry insights; and
  • Invitations to exclusive speakers’ series and events featuring industry leaders with local market experience.

Interested businesses can learn more and apply here.
Affordable Health Care Options for Small Business Owners
available to StartingBlock Madison members
StartingBlock Madison is now offering benefits for members, who 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.

New Gener8or Program
Summer high school program focuses on social impact startups
gALPHA Young Leaders is a free, virtual, four-week pre-accelerator for high school students in Dane County. The program includes two available tracks:

  • Ten teams will be selected to participate in the Founder’s Track to build a social enterprise from scratch and learn the fundamentals of becoming a startup founder.
  • Teams and individuals selected for the Learner’s Track will have an opportunity to attend kickoff, participate in weekly lunch and learns, and attend guest speaker events — a perfect option for exploring the world of startups without diving in too early. 
Learn more about the program or apply on the gener8tor website. The program takes place June 28th - July 23rd.
Upcoming SBDC Virtual Learning Opportunities
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.
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.