On April 16, the Wisconsin Safer at Home order was extended to May 26, with several exceptions designed to continue to flatten the COVID-19 curve while helping businesses, communities, and residents regain some added functionality.
According to Dr. John Raymond, MD, CEO and President of the Medical College of Wisconsin, there are five key health and safety indicators for a safe restart to the economy that need to be followed in Wisconsin. These include the number of cases, testing availability, available hospital facilities, adequate PPE, and the ability to trace and monitor COVID-19 cases. As of April 16, Dr. Raymond indicates Wisconsin has made progress in the number of cases and available hospital care, while metrics in the other three categories still need improvement. Dr. Raymond presented these findings on a statewide webinar, “Lessons Learned from WI CEO’s” which also included a presentation by Dan Ariens, AriensCo. Newsletter readers are encouraged to attend the webinars, which will take place the next three Fridays, and to also listen to recordings of prior webinars to get fully informed. See the Upcoming Events section at the end of this newsletter for information.
Understandably, the extension of the Safer at Home order adds additional financial concerns for those businesses that must continue to remain closed. Calumet County is working with a statewide coalition being led by WEDC, New North, and other organizations to help create and deploy a safe and logical reopening of the economy. Please feel free to contact us to share your stories or ideas.
The Federal CARES Act that was passed in early April provides relief for businesses and employees whose jobs or businesses have been affected by COVID-19. In particular, this included the Economy Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The funds were limited and were allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Unfortunately, as of last Thursday, the SBA was unable to accept any additional applications. The Small Business Administration and the US Treasury are urging Congress to appropriate additional funds for the PPP. Congress is expected to reconvene in early May to consider additional funding, but no details are currently available.
Regarding the SBA programs, it is interesting to note that the SBA allocated what is normally 14 years’ worth of their typical loan portfolio in 14 days. Further, according to the WI Bankers Association, as of April 13, Wisconsin placed 10th among US states and territories in terms of number of loans and total loan amount made.
For interested businesses, funding still available from the SBA includes SBA 7(a), 504 and microloans, on which the SBA is offering Debt Relief; or, SBA Express Bridge Loans.