Small Businesses & Nonprofits
This page will be updated as more information becomes available
In December 2020, Senator Baldwin worked to pass the bipartisan Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to help provide continued support for Wisconsin small businesses, workers and families. This action by Congress is another strong step forward to help Wisconsin meet the challenges we face. We are all in this together, and Senator Baldwin will continue her work across party lines to provide federal support to Wisconsin that business owners, working families, our state, and local communities need to overcome this deadly pandemic and build back better.
The recently enacted bipartisan legislation:
- Reopens the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- $284 billion in funding will be provided for first and second-time borrowers, with set-asides for first-time borrowers, businesses with fewer than 10 employees, and minority-owned and mission-driven lenders
- Restaurants, bars, hotels, and other accommodation and food services establishments will now be eligible for a PPP loan amount that is 3.5 times monthly payroll
- Makes all PPP expenses tax deductible
- Allows PPP borrowers to receive loan forgiveness on costs spent repairing property damage from riots and looting, including damage to businesses in Kenosha and elsewhere in Wisconsin as a result of civil unrest over the summer
- Reverses an earlier directive that required PPP borrowers to deduct Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance grants from their PPP loan forgiveness amount
- Makes 501(c)(6) organizations and local news organizations eligible for PPP loans, subject to restrictions
- Makes the PPP accessible for sole-proprietor farmers who didn’t turn a profit in 2019
- Simplifies the forgiveness process for PPP borrowers with loans under $150,000 and holds harmless lenders who acted in good faith with Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines
Additionally, the recent bipartisan relief package:
- Includes $20 billion for the SBA's EIDL Advance grants of $10,000 per small business, nonprofit, cooperative, or agricultural enterprise. The program also now targets economically distressed communities
- Extends and expands the refundable Employee Retention Tax Credit established in the CARES Act. This tax credit encourages struggling employers to keep workers on payroll by providing an up-front credit for up to $10,000 in wages paid per employee per quarter
- Authorizes $15 billion for the SBA to provide grants to independent entertainment businesses. This program is available to venues, live event promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, or talent representatives who demonstrate a 25 percent reduction in revenues
- Provides full financing of state work-share programs through March 14, 2021
Struggling to get started? The following questions might help point you in the right direction. Do you need:
- Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees? Then the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) might be right for you.
- Note the SBA began accepting new PPP applications from participating lenders on January 11, 2021
- A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now? You might want to look into an Economic Injury Disaster Loan or Grant
- To ease your fears about keeping up with payments on your current or potential SBA loan? The Small Business Debt Relief Program could help
- Just some quality, free counseling to help you navigate this uncertain economic time? SBA resource partners might be your best bet
- Guidance for Non-Profits? 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) and 501(c)(19) non-profits are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, while all private non-profits, including 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(6)s are eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Finally, all non-profits are eligible for Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credits
- Information on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant for eligible venues affected by the pandemic? SBA has guidance
- Information on cross program eligibility? SBA has a summary of criteria that must be met when considering different funding options here
- Information on new paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave implementation? The U.S. Department of Labor has guidance
- Information on SBA resources in additional languages? Please click here
- Information on all SBA coronavirus relief options? Please click here
- A guide to COVID-19 relief legislation for small businesses? Please click here
The SBA began accepting new PPP applications from participating lenders on January 11, 2021. Per the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, SBA is authorized to guarantee loans under the PPP through March 31, 2021.
This program provides cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy snap-back quicker after the crisis. PPP has a host of attractive features, such as forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year.
Per the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, PPP expenses are now tax deductible.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download the following PPP borrower application forms to see the information that will be requested from you when you apply with a lender:
Paycheck Protection Program First Draw Borrower Application Form (revised 01-08-21)
Additional materials from the SBA:
SBA, in consultation with the Treasury Department, has also recently released additional PPP guidance:
Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act (Released 1/6/2021)
Interim Final Rule on Second Draw Loans (Released 1/6/2021)
If you receive assistance from the PPP program, you are not able to receive assistance from the Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship
Small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
SBA is currently accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications from all qualified small businesses.
EIDL grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
The SBA will contact EIDL loan applicants if they qualify for an EIDL grant.
This program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
SBA is in the process of setting up the grant program and is not yet accepting applications.
Eligible applicants may qualify for Shuttered Venue Operators Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
Eligible entities include:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
- Motion picture theater operators
- Talent representatives, and
- Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements
Other requirements of note:
- Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
- Venue or promoter must not have received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 provides full federal reimbursement to states for payments made under work share programs through March 14, 2021. These programs can avoid layoffs by sharing hour reductions among workers and providing them pro-rated unemployment benefits. In Wisconsin’s work share program, at least 20 workers must be affected to be eligible and the maximum amount their hours can be reduced is 50 percent. For general information and guidance for employers interested in participating in the Wisconsin Work-Share Program please visit: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/workshare.htm
If you, like many small business owners, need a business counselor to help guide you through this uncertain time, you can turn to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center (WBC), or SCORE mentorship chapter. These resource partners, and the associations that represent them, will receive additional funds to expand their reach and better support small business owners with counseling and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. There will soon be a joint platform that consolidates information and resources related to COVID-19 in order to provide consistent, timely information to small businesses. Click here for more information regarding counseling and training.
For help applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan and to access other loan resources available to Wisconsin businesses courtesy of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network, please visit: https://wisconsinsbdc.org/services/covid-19/
For information and resources available to small businesses courtesy of the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) please visit: https://www.wwbic.com/covid-19-resources/
For contact information for your local SCORE mentorship chapter, please click here.
For local and state resources available to small businesses courtesy of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, please visit: https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/covid-19-response/
If you are a government contractor, there are a number of ways that Congress has provided relief and protection for your business. Agencies will be able to modify terms and conditions of a contract and to reimburse contractors at a billing rate of up to 40 hours per week of any paid leave, including sick leave. The contractors eligible are those whose employees or subcontractors cannot perform work on site and cannot telework due to federal facilities closing because of COVID-19.
If you need additional assistance, please reach out to your local Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, SCORE chapter, or SBA District Office (see above). You should also work with your agency’s contracting officer, as well as the agency’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Expenses Now Tax Deductible
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that PPP loan recipients whose loans are forgiven are not required to treat the loan proceeds as taxable income and can deduct expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan from their taxes. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 explicitly included this change, which was based bipartisan Small Business Expense Protection Act that Senator Baldwin supported.
Employer Tax Credits
Many businesses that have been severely impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) will qualify for two new employer tax credits – the Credit for Sick and Family Leave and the Employee Retention Credit.
Sick and Family Leave
Credit for Sick and Family Leave
An employee who is unable to work (including telework) because of coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, is entitled to paid sick leave for up to ten days (up to 80 hours) at the employee’s regular rate of pay, or, if higher, the Federal minimum wage or any applicable State or local minimum wage, up to $511 per day, but no more than $5,110 in total.
Caring for someone with Coronavirus
An employee who is unable to work due to caring for someone with coronavirus, or caring for a child because the child’s school or place of care is closed, or the paid child care provider is unavailable due to the coronavirus, is entitled to paid sick leave for up to two weeks (up to 80 hours) at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay or, if higher, the Federal minimum wage or any applicable State or local minimum wage, up to $200 per day, but no more than $2,000 in total.
Care for children due to daycare or school closure
An employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to the coronavirus, is also entitled to paid family and medical leave equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, up to $200 per day and $10,000 in total. Up to ten weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the family leave credit.
Note: The emergency paid "sick leave" and expanded "family and medical leave" requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 are no longer mandated as of December 31, 2020. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the refundable tax credit for sick and family leave was extended until March 31, 2021 for employers who opt to provide it. If the employee has already used this leave in 2020, employers cannot claim the credit for that employee in 2021.
Employers should consult with an attorney and/or a tax professional if they have questions regarding leave requirements and tax credits.
Credit for eligible employers
Eligible employers are entitled to receive a credit in the full amount of the required sick leave and family leave, plus related health plan expenses and the employer’s share of Medicare tax on the leave, for the period of April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. The refundable credit is applied against certain employment taxes on wages paid to all employees. Eligible employers can reduce federal employment tax deposits in anticipation of the credit. They can also request an advance of the paid sick and family leave credits for any amounts not covered by the reduction in deposits. The advanced payments will be issued by paper check to employers.
Employee Retention Credit
Eligible employers can claim the employee retention credit, a refundable tax credit equal to 50 percent of up to $10,000 in qualified wages (including health plan expenses), paid after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021. Eligible employers are those businesses with operations that have been partially or fully suspended due to governmental orders due to COVID-19, or businesses that have a significant decline in gross receipts compared to 2019.
The refundable credit is capped at $5,000 per employee and applies against certain employment taxes on wages paid to all employees. Eligible employers can reduce federal employment tax deposits in anticipation of the credit. They can also request an advance of the employee retention credit for any amounts not covered by the reduction in deposits. The advanced payments will be issued by paper check to employers.
The IRS has developed an online tool to help you determine if you or your business is likely to qualify for one or more of the tax relief options currently available.
IRS.gov/coronavirus is the official IRS source for information on relief related to COVID-19. Be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use this relief as cover to steal personal information and money. The IRS will not call, text, email or contact anyone on social media asking for personal or bank account information. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information on relief.
Downloadable materials from the IRS:
- For additional information and resources through the SBA, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
- For additional information and resources through the SBA in other languages, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-recovery-information-other-languages
- To sign up for email updates from the SBA, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/updates
- For information on free legal advice for small businesses courtesy of the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic and the Wisconsin State Bar, please click here
- For guidance on reopening your business courtesy of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, please visit: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/
- For help applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan and to access other loan resources available to Wisconsin businesses courtesy of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network, please visit: https://wisconsinsbdc.org/services/covid-19/
- For local and state resources available to small businesses courtesy of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, please visit: https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/covid-19-response/
For information on support for small businesses and agribusinesses from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), please visit: https://www.wheda.com/Business-Lending/Financing-Products/
- For information on how Wisconsin workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) please visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective April 1, 2020.
- For information on donating or selling Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the State of Wisconsin, please click here. For information on helping manufacture PPE, please click here.
- For information for farmers, restaurants, retailers, and resources for scams, please visit: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/News_Media/Covid19.aspx
- For information on lenders and notarization, please visit: http://www.wdfi.org/
- For interim guidance for businesses and employers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
- For food safety information and resources for industry members from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) please visit: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
- To learn more about how your organization or business can help in the effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help
For general information and resources about coronavirus for Wisconsinites, please click here.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this webpage does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or tax preparation advice from Senator Baldwin. All information, content, and materials available on this page are for general informational purposes only.
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