Current Economic Resources for Businesses

WMC Employer Toolkit

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber, manufacturers’ association and safety council – released its COVID-19 Employer Toolkit on April 2 to further help employers navigate the difficult circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. This toolkit will help businesses by providing the latest and most relevant information, helpful resources and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications online.  Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For complete details on SBA, visit the SBA website.

SBA CARE Act Brief Guidelines

The Small Business Task Force unveils a $367B in Emergency Coronavirus Relief Package as part of the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act, Division A of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, includes:

  • $367 billion in lending authority for SBA 7a loans.
  • 100% government guarantees on SBA relief loans made though 12/31/20.
  • Up to $10mm in loan size, calculated by taking the average total monthly payments by the applicant for payroll, mortgage payments, rent payments, and payments on any other debt obligations incurred during the one-year period before the date on which the loan is made (except for seasonal employees, in which the payroll is based on the average total monthly payments for payroll from 3/1/19 through 6/30/19.

Loan proceeds are only for payroll support including medical leave, costs related to health benefits, employee salaries, mortgage payments, rent, utilities and any other debt payments incurred before the covered period. NO payments for 12 months! Typical SBA guarantee fees waived as well.

A portion (tbd) of the loan will be forgiven, in an amount equal to their payroll cost and costs related to debt obligations for the period from 3/1/20 – 6/30/20. The amount of the forgiveness will be reduced proportionately by the number of employees laid off during the time. It will also exclude employees making more than $100,000 annually from this forgiveness calculation. Lenders must verify payroll costs.

If a client has maxed out their current SBA eligibility at $5m, they can still apply for the CARE Act loan, since the SBA limit is being increased to $10m per business applicant. For more information and assistance with your application, please email Ralph Russell at Springboard Funding Partners, or call (262) 620-0373. SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process at (800) 659-2955.

SBA Webinars on Applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loans

This week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will be offering webinars every day to help Wisconsin businesses prepare and apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. These webinars will be offered every day through this Friday, March 27, 2020 at 10am CDT and 2pm CDT.

Small Business 20/20 Program

WWBIC is the only local institution on the list. Only their current loan clients qualify.

WWBIC

All business and financial educational programming is on-line and on-demand. WWBIC is working with federal, state and local organizations, to support our many WWBIC borrowers, entrepreneurs and businesses in need of loan capital now!

  1. WWBIC loan clients affected by COVID-19 have loan modification options. They should contact Jaime Charon, Director of Portfolio Management and Loan Operations, or contact WWBIC Servicing for more information.
  2. For current and new small business clients, WWBIC is offering fast track loans up to $25,000! Contact Michael Hetzel, Director of Lending for more details.
  3. Don’t forget about KIVA! Kiva is now offering $15,000 loans statewide
    1. General information
    2. Business owners looking to borrow
    3. For a WWBIC endorsement or for assistance with this process, please send an email to WWBIC

IRS Resources & News

  • Filing season extension: The federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended  from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. News releases in English & Spanish are attached and also on the special coronavirus page.
  • Payment extension: They have also updated the payment extension statement to July 15, 2020.
  • New business refundable credits: Small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to promptly and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees
  • Employee information: There are many issues related to COVID-19 affecting employees. Many of the questions they’re seeing come up are already answered on a special section of the Source.

Heartland Business Systems

Heartland Business Systems has vital resources to help businesses now:

  1. Gift Cards
  2. Online ordering and payment page
  3. Lines of credit funded within days

To learn more, email Kelly Burris at Heartland Business Systems or call (262) 412-9488.

Submit Your Business Updates During the COVID-19 Outbreak

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affecting businesses across the country, a majority of our members have dealt with major changes to how they normally conduct business. As always, we encourage you to Shop Local and do business with Chamber members, whenever it is safe to do so.

We’ve created a page of our members that have made any changes to the products or services they are providing. We’ll update that page daily with any additions or changes that are provided to us from our members. Each business name links to our Business Directory with their website, phone number, and more information about that member.

Submit Your Business

Legislative Breakfast Postponed

As you know, the coronavirus has created an incredibly challenging time for everyone – businesses, non-profit organizations, churches, private citizens – everyone. There is great concern for the safety of the public and the City of Kenosha, County of Kenosha, State of Wisconsin and the Country is under a State of Emergency in hopes of containing the spread of the virus. The Chamber Board of Directors and Staff consider the health and safety of our members a top priority. Because of this, we are postponing the Legislative Breakfast, originally scheduled for Monday, March 30, 2020. After talking with the sponsor of the event, Clark Dietz, Inc., we will be rescheduling the Legislative Breakfast for some time in May. The exact date will depend on the availability of the elected officials that committed to speaking at this event.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this postponement may create for you. Those of you that have already registered, your paid registration will be transferred over to the rescheduled event. If you cannot make the event on the rescheduled date or if you wish to cancel your registration, you can request and will receive a full refund of the registration fee.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Chamber if you have any questions. More importantly, stay safe! We look forward to seeing you at future Chamber events.

Business Before 9 Postponed

Over the past few days, the Chamber has monitored the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world. Out of an abundance of caution, the Chamber, after conferring with Recplex officials, is postponing our upcoming Business Before 9 networking event at the Pleasant Prairie Recplex on March 19th. The make-up date is still TBD.

Any future events we have planned will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, as the health and safety of our community and membership is our main priority. This is a rapidly evolving situation that we will continue to keep an eye on over the coming days and weeks.

The Chamber will continue to support and promote our members and we encourage you to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have. We’ve listed a few resources below to help you and your business:

Stay safe and take care!
Chamber Staff

2020 Expo Health & Home Show is This Weekend!

The 2020 Kenosha Expo Health & Home Show, presented by Kenosha Subaru and AM 1050 WLIP, is a family-friendly, fun and informative opportunity to meet the many businesses and organizations that make the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce such a strong association. This community event will showcase Member businesses and organizations and will be held this Saturday and Sunday, February 29–March 1, from 10:00am to 4:00pm both days at University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Student Activity Center Fieldhouse.

The Kenosha Community Health Fair, presented by Aurora Health Care ​and sponsored by Alexander Chiropractic Neurology Center and Selective Hearing Centers,​ has interactive services and health screenings that are FREE to Expo visitors. These include hearing and vision screenings, carotid artery screenings, medication list reviews, and brain/spine examinations, just to name a few. The first 600 children visiting the Aurora Health Care booth will receive a teddy bear. The Aurora Health Care team members will help children examine their stuffed patient and check vitals at this year’s Teddy Bear Clinic!

There’s fun for the whole family at Expo! The Family Activity Area, sponsored by the Kenosha Area Noon Optimist Club, features local non-profits and civic organizations geared toward kids and families. There will be fun games, t-shirt giveaways, raffles and more! We will also be welcoming back the Kenosha Garden Railroad Society’s amazing model train display and the High School Showcase, featuring clubs and organizations from local high schools.

2020 Kenosha Expo Health & Home Show also features the Great Kenosha Raffle, presented by M.V.Properties/ RE/MAX Newport Elite. The raffle is your chance to win great prizes and support the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund which awards college scholarships to Kenosha County High School Seniors. This year’s grand prize is $1,000 cash, with dozens of amazing gift baskets to win!

There is plenty to see this year in the Expo and we will have live demonstrations in the Demonstration Area. Demonstrations include a Mascot Parade, Kenosha YMCA WERQ Fitness, a Railroad Safety Seminar, Kenosha Academy of Performing Arts, and Kenosha Jazzercise Fitness Center. The complete schedule is available at the Expo website.

We’re excited to welcome Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers to Expo on Saturday, February 29th from 3-4pm! She will be performing an acoustic set at Expo in our Demonstration Area, a performance sponsored by Community State Bank. Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers have been entertaining Midwest audiences with their cello-infused, alternative/pop rock sound since 2015. Led by Betsy Ade’s incomparable and emotive vocals (you might recognize her from season 16 of “The Voice”), their music has been played on radio stations around the country. Together, the band has an amazing mix of musical knowledge that provides a unique sound reminiscent of music from the 90’s while being expressively groundbreaking and melodically rich.

We’ll have over 100 vendors at Expo next weekend, and you’re bound to work up an appetite exploring them all. We’re excited to welcome UW-Parkside’s A’viands, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit to our Food Court! Special thanks to our food court sponsor, Debbie Solbrig at Farmers Insurance.