Funding available for Wisconsin restaurants while entertainment, lodging venues receive grants

Coronavirus

A restaurant keeps its “Open” sign on after closing its dining room but staying open for take-out and delivery orders, Monday, March 16, 2020 in New York. New York state entered a new phase in the coronavirus pandemic Monday joining with Connecticut and New Jersey to close bars, restaurants and movie theaters starting Monday night. The governors said restaurants and bars will move to take-out and delivery services only. The three states also will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 p.m. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

(WFRV) – Wisconsin’s governor has announced funding available for restaurants and small businesses, as well as grants awarded to lodging and live music and entertainment venues, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Tony Evers, along with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, says restaurants and other target small businesses affect by the pandemic will receive $45 million in assistance, bringing the total assistance distributed to Wisconsin businesses to more than $220 million.

The program, ‘We’re All In For Restaurants,’ is aimed at businesses throughout the state that, as gathering places, have faced challenges since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Restaurants and other venues have been among the businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Evers says. “They’ve made the tough decisions to keep employees and customers safe by restricting indoor seating, offering delivery and curbside pick-up, and providing outdoor tables. We greatly appreciate the changes they’ve made to prioritize the health and safety of our communities, but now with winter coming, we are glad to provide this support at a critical time.”

The Department of Revenue (DOR) will, in collaboration with WEDC, will administer the program. Unlike previous We’re All In grants, businesses will not have to apply for the grants, but will be identified and contacted directly by DOR based on the businesses’ state tax records.

DOR estimates restaurants will account for about 95% of the approximately 2,000 businesses that will each receive a $20,000 grant by year-end. The program will target businesses with annual revenues between $1 million and $7 million.

Funding for We’re All In programs comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that expires on Dec. 31.

Gov. Evers has also announced $15 million in grants have been distributed to 96 of Wisconsin’s live music and entertainment venues.

These grants aim to provide financial stabilization to Wisconsin’s live entertainment and large meeting venues, which were among the first small businesses to feel dramatic negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know large gatherings of people in small spaces can be a catalyst for spread, which is why our folks in the live music and entertainment industry have been doing their part to help keep their communities and people safe,” says Gov. Evers. “These changes haven’t been easy, but these venues have worked to be good partners throughout this process. We hope these funds can provide critical support and stabilization to help them get through until we can all gather safely and enjoy entertainment together again.”

Awarded grants provide up to $500,000 or 25% of 2019 ticket or event sales, whichever was less.

Local recipients include:

LocationCityAward
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Inc. Appleton$362,287.61
Willems Marketing & Events, Inc. Appleton$335,847.55
Appleton Fox Cities, LLC Appleton$67,824.58
Broadway Theatre De Pere$30,748.24
Green Room Theatre, LLC De Pere$10,348.21
Door Community Auditorium Fish Creek$99,075.85
Thelma Sadoff Center for The Arts, Inc. Fond du Lac$55,902.68
Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center Green Bay$35,630.35
Cedar Center Arts, Inc. Green Bay$11,607.97
PMI Entertainment Group, Inc. Green Bay$395,308.00
Incredible Edibles, Inc. (Liberty Hall) Kimberly$201,294.08
Capitol Civic Centre Manitowoc$49,872.85
Porterfield Country, Inc. Marinette$32,492.14
Ballroom at The Reserve, LLCOshkosh$3,458.95
The Grand Oshkosh, Inc.Oshkosh$104,208.33
Weill Center Foundation, Inc. Sheboygan$124,930.02
Door County Resorts Mgmt, Inc. Sturgeon Bay$302,534.63
Trueblood Performing Arts Center Washington Island$13,138.05

On Thursday, Gov. Evers announced that 663 Wisconsin lodging operators to provide stabilization to state’s lodging industry. Grantees were awarded an average of about $350 per eligible room.

“The folks in our hotel and lodging industry have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as folks have reduced their travel this year to help stop the spread of the virus,” says Gov. Evers. “The tourism industry will be core to our state’s economic bounce back, and these funds will help provide some economic stabilization now so visitors to enjoy their favorite destinations later.”

Recent surveys by the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Associated indicate that nearly half of Wisconsin hotel and lodging properties will close within six months without loan or grant assistance.

Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), the grant program assists hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast operators whose facilities have been negatively affected by COVID-19.

Here’s a full list of recipients:

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