WEDC Offers Small Business Loan Program for Flood Cleanup
Wisconsin small businesses and homeowners impacted by the recent flooding will be eligible for financial assistance for repair, cleanup and other costs under two state new programs that will provide up to $4 million in funding.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), in conjunction with its regional partners, is unveiling a $2 million Disaster Recovery Microloan Program aimed at small businesses that will provide an immediate source of funds for necessary restoration work and related expenses.
In addition, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is launching a new $2 million Flood Relief Loan program that will provide no-interest loans of up to $10,000 for repairing homes damaged by flooding.
“While the floodwaters have receded, we know hundreds of businesses and homeowners are still dealing with the costs associated with the flooding that hit much of the state,” said Governor Walker, who announced the programs last week. “We are implementing these new programs to give residents and business owners an immediate source of funds to make needed repairs without having to cut through a lot of red tape.”
The two programs are being announced as businesses and homes in 21 counties were damaged last month after heavy rains caused widespread flooding. More than 4,300 homes and 140 businesses have sustained more than $150 million in damage, according to preliminary estimates from Wisconsin Emergency Management.
WEDC Disaster Recovery Microloan Program
Under the program, WEDC will award grants to regional entities that will provide the microloans of up to $15,000 to assist businesses with a short-term source of funds for repair work and operating expenses until more long-term recovery funding can be secured. The no-interest loans have a two-year repayment period, with payments deferred for at least six months. Forgivable loans of up $15,000 may also be offered to small businesses. The loans can be used for procurement of cleanup and restoration services, operating expenses, temporary space, and repair and reconstruction work.
“A natural disaster like the recent floods can have a devastating economic effect on small business owners as they struggle with having to repair damage to their business and other related expenses,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, who also attended Friday’s announcement. “This new program provides an immediate source of funds to help impacted businesses quickly recover from this disaster.”
To be eligible for a loan, a business must be located in or directly adjacent to a region where the authorized regional entity has received an allocation; must have suffered measurable physical damage because of the disaster; and must intend to resume business operations in the community as quickly as possible. While the loan program will be available to businesses in all 72 counties, WEDC is initially working with regional entities in the areas of the state that were hit hardest by the flooding: The Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission, the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission; and the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP).
CLICK HERE for more information about the microloan program.