Amid pandemic, small businesses in Milwaukee can apply for restart grants up to $15K starting Thursday

Milwaukee City Hall

MILWAUKEE — Small businesses can begin applying for Milwaukee’s Business Restart Grants at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 28 at Milwaukee.gov/restart.

A news release says the Milwaukee Business Restart Program is designed to get City small businesses up and running following setbacks associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be available to businesses established before the end of 2019 with annualized revenue of less than $2 million and 20 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees.

The Milwaukee Business Restart Program will be funded with a total of $20 million in federal CARES Act money allocated to the city. Individual Milwaukee small businesses will be eligible for a grant of up to $15,000. Recipients can spend grant money on expenses in three categories:

  1. The purchase of personal protective equipment for employees
  2. Investments in modifications to business spaces and operations that reduce the spread of disease
  3. Restocking perishable inventory

There will be additional limitations of what business costs will be eligible for grant allocations.

Qualifying businesses can submit grant requests through Friday, June 12.  All applications will be reviewed following that date, rather than on a first-come-first-served basis.  The amount of money available for each grant may be affected by the total number of qualified applicants.

The Department of City Development, with the cooperation of MEDC, plans to start distributing grants as soon as possible after the close of the application window.

All businesses in Milwaukee, including grant recipients, will be expected to follow directives from the Milwaukee Health Department to reduce exposure and transmission of COVID-19.

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