COVID-19 Relief

The Oconto County Economic Development Corporation has created this page to anchor important information for our businesses amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting small business owners is what we do, and that is more critical than ever at this time. Below you can find information and resources that could be useful. 

1. Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.
  • PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%.
  • Loans issued prior to June 5 have a maturity of 2 years. Loans issued after June 5 have a maturity of 5 years.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for borrowers who apply for loan forgiveness until SBA remits the borrower's loan forgiveness amount to the lender. If a borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, payments are deferred 10 months after the end of the covered period for the borrower’s loan forgiveness (either 8 weeks or 24 weeks).
  • No collateral or personal guarantees are required.
  • Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
How To Apply
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:
  1. Paycheck Protection Program First Draw Borrower Application Form (revised 01-08-21)
  2. Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Borrower Application Form (01-08-21)

2. Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission
The impacts COVID-19 has had on communities and businesses can be felt across the country and the Bay-Lake region is no exception. From our most rural communities in Florence County, to our tourism centric communities along the lakeshore, to our more populous communities in Sheboygan and Brown counties, it is evident that this region has been impacted by COVID-19.

With response and recovery efforts currently underway, local communities and businesses can use the Bay-Lake RPC COVID-19 Response and Recovery Portal as a one-stop-shop as they continue to respond to and recover from the pandemic.

About the Portal
The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Portal is an online interactive website that includes information for local units of government and businesses on available funding opportunities, recovery guides/toolkits, upcoming events and workshops and more. 

The Data and Dashboards section contained in this portal, includes information on county level COVID health trends, including vaccination rates, as well as economic trends that can be used to help map the impact of COVID. This portal will be updated weekly.

This portal was developed by Bay-Lake RPC staff and made possible through CARES Act funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). Additional information about the CARES Act funding that Bay-Lake RPC received from EDA can be found under the BLRPC CARES Act section.

3. Shuttered Venue Operations Grant 

Program details
The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO 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.

Who can apply

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 applied for or received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020

Click here for more information!

4. Restaurant Revitlization Fund

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Who can apply

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:
  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
Here’s what you need to know:
  • The application will be available Friday, April 30th
  • Operators can register for their portal account on Friday, April 30th
  • Portal will open on Monday, May 3rd at 12 p.m. ET
5. Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant
  1. What is the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program?The Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program will award $420 million to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue (DOR). The new grants, which will be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), are intended to support those businesses who were hardest hit by the pandemic and are key to Wisconsin making a strong recovery.
  2. Who is eligible for the grant?Preliminary plans by WEDC and DOR call for targeting the program at Wisconsin small businesses, including those that started in 2020. Details of the new grants will not be finalized until federal rules for ARPA funds are in place.
  3. When and how do I apply? More information on when and how to apply will be posted soon. Keep checking here for updates.

6. Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission COVID-19 Portal
Compilation of federal, state, and local funding opportunities that business owners can apply for as they respond to or recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. These opportunities may be in the form of a grant, loan, or other funding. 

Additional Resources: Wisconsin State Agencies