Business and Government Updates 3/23/2020
Wisconsin Small Businesses Can Now Apply for SBA Disaster Loans
Now that Wisconsin has been approved, business owners can apply for SBA disaster loans. See common FAQs about SBA disaster loans on the Wisconsin SBDC page to learn the basics of what these loans are and how they work.

As a reminder, these loans are working capital loans; they are designed to sustain your business in the way it could have existed if the disaster had not occurred (ability to pay accounts payable, payroll, paying fixed debt, and other bills). These loans are not intended to make up for lost profits or to be used for expansion.

Stuck on a question about the application process? The SBA is offering daily webinars through March 28th at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to help answer your questions about the application process. The webinars provide an overview of the Economic Injury Disaster Loans that are available to Wisconsin small businesses and private, non-profits. Information included in each webinar:

• Program eligibility
• Use of proceeds
• Terms
• Filing requirements
• Additional small business resources

SBA Loan Materials Needed to Complete the Application
If you might be interested in applying for an SBA disaster loan once a declaration has been made in Wisconsin, it is best to gather your materials and paperwork now. Here are the materials you will need to gather for the application:

  • Complete loan application form
  • Electronic Loan Application (Form 5)
  • Electronic Loan Application (Form 5C) Sole Proprietorship Only
  • Tax Authorization, which allows the SBA access to your tax records
  • 3 years of tax returns
  • Form 4506-T
  • Personal Financial Statement (Form 413)
  • Schedule of Liabilities (Form 2202)
  • Business information
  • Contact information and social security numbers for all applicants
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) for business applicants
  • Deed or lease information
  • Insurance information
  • Financial information (e.g. income, account balances and monthly expenses)

The application process is free. It is extremely important to make sure you have a complete application; an incomplete application cannot make it through the process. Online applications are preferred.

Wisconsin Follows Federal Government, Extends Tax Deadline
Late last week, the federal government announced that tax deadlines were extended. This extension has now been applied to Wisconsin state taxes as well - automatically extending the deadlines to July 15 and waiving interest and penalties for taxpayers due to a President-declared disaster.  

This relief is solely for income tax payments and does not require tax filers to file extension forms to be eligible for the new due date.

Read the full press release here .

Wisconsin's Shelter-In-Place: What Businesses are Essential?
Governor Tony Evers has now issued a #SaferAtHome order, which is functionally a Shelter in Place Order like the ones we have seen in New York City, California, and Illinois over the last week.

In a Twitter chain , the Governor expressed that " I know this has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state. That’s why issuing a #SaferAtHome order isn’t something I thought we’d have to do, and it’s not something I take lightly. But here’s the bottom line: folks need to start taking this seriously." He noted that includes the closure of all "non-essential business statewide."

While Governor Evers is expected to provide more details about what businesses are considered essential tomorrow (Tuesday, March 24, 2020), he has so far defined essential employees as "w orkers providing essential care or services in our communities... That includes folks like healthcare professionals, grocers, family caregivers, among other people whose work is critical for folks across our state."

Utility Rules Suspended to Allow Additional Flexibility
Governor Tony Evers announced a new emergency order, Order 11 , which will suspend several utility-related administrative rules. The goal is to provide flexibility to utility customers so that they do not have to choose between paying utility bills and other necessities during the COVID-19 emergency.

Because of this order, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin was able to direct regulated utilities in the state to:
  • Stop utility disconnection for nonpayment for all customers, including commercial, industrial, and farm accounts. Previously this applied to residential accounts only;
  • Cease assessing late fees to customer accounts;
  • Halt the practice of requiring deposits from customers for reconnection of service;
  • Allow deferred payment agreements for all customers who request them;
  • Remove any administrative barriers for customers establishing or reestablishing utility service; and
  • Authorize water utilities to provide budget billing arrangements to customers. Electric and natural gas utilities are allowed to do this under current rules.
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.