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MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue (DOR), announced Tuesday that more than $46 million to support an estimated 9,300 small businesses across Wisconsin. The grants – $5,000 per business – are an extension of last year’s successful “We’re All In” grant program.

The more than $46 million in new money is funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. While CARES funds as originally prescribed were slotted to expire at the end of 2020, a federal omnibus bill signed before the end of the year extended the deadline until the end of 2021. During the pandemic, Gov. Evers has used more than $370 million in CARES funds to support Wisconsin businesses, including nearly 53,000 small businesses, more than 15,000 farms, and the lodging, hospitality, and tourism industries.

“Our small businesses have had to innovate to stay afloat this past year, and that’s why it’s critically important we make sure they have the resources to recover and bounce back from this pandemic,” Evers said in a news release. “The ‘We’re All In’ program has been a great way to help support our small businesses and their workers, and we’re going to keep doing more for our businesses and industries, our communities, and folks across our state in the months ahead.”

Demand for the “We’re All In” program exceeded available funding in some phases last year. The $46 million in new grants, announced Tuesday, will be distributed to adversely impacted small businesses that applied for pandemic relief through the “We’re All In” Phase 2 program last year but for which additional funds were not available.

Also, to Tuesday’s grants announcement, the WEDC released a new report, “Wisconsin Tomorrow: Building an Economy for All,” outlining the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery and calling for investments in the economic well-being of all Wisconsinites, including small business support.

Read the full report here.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...