Small Businesses & Nonprofits
This page will be updated as more information becomes available
Congress has passed several rounds of financial assistance and relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including most recently the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021:
Establishes a $25 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which will provide grants to help local restaurants keep their doors open and keep their workers employed
- Adds $15 billion for the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance program to help the hardest-hit small businesses
- Reauthorizes the State Small Business Credit Initiative, providing $10 billion in new funding for the program to help small businesses grow and create jobs
- Provides an additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expands eligibility for nonprofits and digital news outlets
- Provides an additional $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to support live entertainment venues
- Allows businesses that received PPP loans in 2021 to be eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program
- Establishes the Community Navigator pilot program to improve access to COVID-19 relief, especially for underserved communities
- Provides full financing of state work-share programs through September 6, 2021
Struggling to get started? The following questions might help point you in the right direction. Do you need:
- 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 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
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.
UPDATE (06.09.2021): SBA Notice: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.
Additional materials from the SBA:
PPP Frequently Asked Questions (03-12-21)
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 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 American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 also sets aside $5 billion for a new round of $5,000 grants to the smallest and most severely impacted small businesses.
The SBA will contact EIDL loan applicants if they qualify for an EIDL grant.
Update on the Targeted EIDL Advance (4-19-2021)
Effective immediately, applicants can send a request for reevaluation of a Targeted EIDL Advance application that was declined to the following email address: TargetedAdvanceReevaluation@sba.gov.
Applicants should follow these instructions when requesting a reevaluation:
- Send an email to TargetedAdvanceReevaluation@sba.gov
- Use the subject line “Reevaluation Request for [insert your 10-digit application number]”
- In the body of the email, include identifying information for the application such as application number, business name, business address, business owner name(s) and phone number
- Important: Include an explanation and any documentation that addresses the reason for the decline, if available. SBA will contact applicants if additional documentation is required to complete the review.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides $25 billion nationwide for a new SBA program specifically for restaurants and other food and drinking establishments impacted by the pandemic. The grants of up to $10 million per business ($5 million per physical location) can be used for a wide variety of expenses. Eligible entities include restaurants, food stands and food trucks, caterers, bars and lounges, brewpubs and tasting rooms, inns, taverns, and similar businesses, including those located in airport terminals.
UPDATE: The application window is now closed.
Supplemental documents from the SBA:
This program provides grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
UPDATE: The application window is now closed.
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.
To ensure eligible venues do not miss a window to receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 also amended the SVOG program so entities that apply for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, can also apply for an SVOG, with the eligible entity’s SVOG to be reduced by the PPP loan amount. The PPP loan applications have been updated to reflect this.
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
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides full federal reimbursement to states for payments made under work share programs through September 6, 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 new employer tax credits.
Paid Leave for Employees Taking Time Off Due to COVID-19 Vaccinations
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.
For more details from the U.S. Department of the Treasury on how the paid leave tax credits from the American Rescue Plan will work for employers to enable employees to get vaccinated and recover from after-effects of vaccination, as well as for other purposes, click here.
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.
For more information about the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, 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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