Economic Development


COVID-19 Small Business Resources


Signs. We are putting our Street Department Sign Shop to work for small businesses. Starting Friday, March 27, we are offering to print outdoor signage (corrugated plastic, standard sizes) free of charge for any small business in need of it during the emergency. For more information, contact the Street Department at 414-768-8075, or email Paul Maciejewski at

Promotion. We are encouraging people to visit two platforms for more information on how to “shop local” during the emergency: the Shop Local South Milwaukee Facebook page, which is updated regularly with information from other businesses’ Facebook pages, and this site from MJ Media.


In another step toward assisting small businesses that suffer losses related to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is creating a program to provide grants to targeted businesses throughout the state. The WEDC Board of Directors approved $5 million in funding for the program, which will be known as Small Business 20/20 (SB20/20). SB20/20 will provide grants of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19).

Learn more from WEDC. 

Download WEDC Navigating Through COVID-19 Guidebook for Small Businesses and Organizations (PDF). 

WEDC General Guidance for All Businesses – Best Practices to Reopen


Kiva lenders have shown their commitment to providing financial assistance to all by making 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs in the U.S. on for the last 10 years. In today’s difficult circumstances, we’d like to make it as easy and impactful as possible for small businesses in the U.S. to have access to affordable capital on the Kiva platform — capital that may be the difference between shutting down and keeping their doors open.

Kiva recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has global impact, and will continue to explore ways to help as many people affected by this crisis as possible. Currently, the U.S. market is the place Kiva has the most agility to deploy financial assistance.

Effective immediately, U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan will have access to the following:

  1. Expanded eligibility: More businesses in the US will be eligible for a Kiva loan than ever.
  2. Larger loans: The maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000.
  3. Grace period: New borrowers may access a grace period of up to 6 months for greater financial flexibility.

Contact Renee Lindner at Kiva for more information, or call her at 414-395-4548.


The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network has created this page to anchor important resources and information amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff across all of our centers are available to work with you via phone or virtual means.


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (or working capital loans) are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. They have set up a page to help you navigate the process.

Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) 

MMAC is currently hosting a series of Webinars for Business Strategies During the Pandemic. Additionally, MMAC has a list of resources on their Coronavirus Guidance and Resources page.


Gener8tor is hosting emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs will feature daily webinars designed to identify, understand and help small businesses secure resources to withstand the current crisis. One-on-one office hours will also be available. Businesses wishing to enroll is should sign on the gener8tor Emergency Response Program website.

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)

WWBIC has moved all business and financial educational programming on-line and on-demand. WWBIC is also working with federal, state and local elected officials to support the many WWBIC borrowers, entrepreneurs and businesses in need of loan capital now! WWBIC is offering current loan clients affected by COVID-19 loan modification options. In some cases, these small business owners may have options for deferments, interest payments being covered, and direct grant support for payroll and rent. For more information contact Jaime Charon at or WWBIC Servicing at For current and new small business clients, WWBIC is offering fast track loans up to $25,000! Contact Michael Hetzel at for more details.

Hmong Chamber of Commerce

The Hmong Chamber of Commerce is offering an emergency loan fund in response to COVID-19. Small businesses can apply for a loan starting at $5,000 and up to $10,000. The business is required to have existed for a minimum of two years and be located in a low to moderate income tract or be a minority-owned business in Wisconsin. Once the application is complete, the business owner can send it and the other requirements to Yuli Her, the development coordinator, at

State of Wisconsin Resources

  • WEDC Small Business 20/20 Grant Program – The goal of the Small Business 20/20 program is to support small businesses and micro-enterprises adversely economically impacted by COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the 2020 Grant Program.
  • WEDC: For program and other assistance available to Wisconsin business owners, please visit:
  • Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (WDWD) – Click here for more information regarding Public Information for Unemployment for COVID-19.
  • Small Business Administration Updates – WEDC and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) officials are working with the Wisconsin office of the Small Business Administration to unlock federal Economic Impact Disaster Loans for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We will provide additional details on the availability of SBA funding as they become available.
  • Coronavirus Information for Partners -Answers to frequently asked questions by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
  • COVID-19: How we can help businesses – The Small Business Development Center-Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship has created a page with important information for its clients amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Department of Workforce Development – Unemployment COVID-19 Public Information

Federal Resources


Freelance/Artist Resources

Other Resources


Stephanie Hacker, AICP, LEED AP
Economic Development Director
DIRECT: 414.266.9226
MAIN: 414.762.2222