COVID-19 Financial Assistance Programs

The Waukesha County Center for Growth is working with our partners in economic development and local, state and federal government to stay current on the programs that are being approved and implemented to assist businesses as we move toward recovery. We do our best to continually provide updated information about the various programs as they become available.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program: Waukesha County, in partnership with Community Advocates, Inc., is administering an Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to help people experiencing financial hardship to stay in their homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is now accepting applications. Learn More

Restaurant Revitalization Fund: The new Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), part of the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will provide $28.6 billion in grants to restaurants and bars in need. Additionally, $5 billion of that total will be set aside expressly for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000. The ARPA lists the following types of establishments that should be eligible: restaurant, food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting room, taproom, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products. Learn More

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant: The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, including live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organizations, museum, zoo, and aquarium operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives. Eligible applicants may qualify for 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. Learn More

WEDC Bring Ideas to Life Downtown Grant: Help make Wisconsin’s downtowns vibrant and dynamic places to live, work and do business by submitting your best idea to the Wisconsin Main Street Downtown Pitch Contest. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will award $10,000 to bring the winning idea to life. The pitch contest is open to Wisconsin residents 18 and older with a for-profit business idea located (or planned to be located) in a community that is part of either the Wisconsin Main Street Program or the Connect Communities Program. Both existing and planned businesses are eligible, although businesses must be open and investments made no later than Dec. 31. To apply, contact your local Main Street or Connect Communities program. A map and contact information for Main Street communities can be found on the WEDC website at:

Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant Program (not yet available): Early details of the $420MM Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program will make $5,000 grants available to Wisconsin small businesses with less than $7 million in annual revenue. WEDC will help promote the program. It will be administered by DOR similar to the WAI Phase 2 and Phase 3 grant programs. Full program details are not yet available, pending forthcoming guidance from the Treasury Department. For now, all businesses should be directed to this DOR website for information. Learn More