MADISON, WI. SEPT. 13, 2018 –The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), in conjunction with its regional partners, has launched 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.
The programs is being announced as businesses and homes in 21 counties were damaged last month after heavy rains caused widespread flooding. More than 2,400 homes and 140 businesses have sustained more than $150 million in damage, according to preliminary estimates from Wisconsin Emergency Management.
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.
“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. “This new program provides an immediate source of funds to help impacted businesses quickly recover from this disaster.”
The loans can be used for procurement of cleanup and restoration services, operating expenses, temporary space, and repair and reconstruction work.
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).
“WEDC’s program is designed to provide affordable financing to businesses between the time of the disaster and when more long-term financial assistance can be obtained from FEMA, state or insurance programs,” said Greg Flogstad, director of the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission, which serves nine counties in west-central Wisconsin. “We appreciate WEDC’s proactive approach in starting to develop this program prior to this flood disaster.”
For more information about the microloan program, visit wedc.org/disasterrecovery.