MadREP to Administer State’s Microloan Program
On Friday, September 14, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), unveiled 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.
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).
“The severe weather has subsided but our Region’s affected businesses are still struggling to rebuild,” said MadREP President Paul Jadin. “The goal of this new program is to give business owners an immediate source of funds to make needed repairs without having to cut through a lot of red tape.”
The program was announced in the wake of a series of weather events in which businesses and homes in 21 counties were damaged last month. Heavy rains in the region 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.
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, who also attended Friday’s announcement. “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.
For more information about the microloan program, contact Paul Jadin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608.571.0401.