• The City of Wisconsin Rapids Announces Emergency COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program.

    The City of Wisconsin Rapids strongly supports local businesses and recognizes their importance within the community. In response to the economic hardship resulting from the COVID-19 virus, the City has created a grant program to assist small businesses with rental lease or mortgage payments for commercial property. It is the purpose of the grant to assist a business in maintaining a storefront or office location during the implementation of the State’s ‘Safer at Home order.’

    The application will be made available May 4th, 2020. The applications can be filled out online and via PDF copies at http://www.wisconsinrapidschamber.com/covid-19-emergency-grant. The grant administrator, consisting of City and Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce staff will review the application for completeness and compliance with the grant eligibility standards after the submission deadline in the order they were received.  

    In order to address the number of requests, the Common Council of the City of Wisconsin Rapids has placed the following criteria on those who are eligible for this emergency grant program.


    1. Applicant must be a local, non-franchise business or non-profit organization, with 1-10 full-time equivalent employee(s) on as of March 17, 2020. Business entities must be Wisconsin organizations.  Sole proprietorships may qualify if they meet all other requirements.
    2. The applicant’s business must have been operating and open to the general public as of March 17, 2020 (institution of restriction of gatherings of 10 or more).
    3. Because of the public purpose doctrine, not all non-profit organizations may be eligible for the grant program (Attachment – Powers of Municipalities).
    4. The applicant must be in good standing at the time of application with the State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and the City of Wisconsin Rapids (if the applicant is the responsible party for the following, they must be current: real and personal property taxes, outstanding payments, potential judgments, licenses, fines, permit fees, or other amounts due to the City).
    5. The applicant’s business must have a physical presence outside the home, within a bricks and mortar building and be located within the City limits.
    6. At the time of application, the applicant must be in a state of total closure or be unable to operate one or more of the primary functions of its business.  For example: a hair salon which is completely closed or a restaurant operating with curbside or take-out order. The closures or business restrictions must be a result of the State’s ‘Safer at Home Order’, and must have occurred on or after March 17, 2020.  
    7. The maximum grant is $1,500.  All grant proceeds must be used for the following documented business expenses that became due on March 1, 2020, or later. Such grant proceeds shall only be used for the following, and may include reimbursement for previous payments, for the months of March, April, and May:
      1. Monthly commercial building loan mortgage
      2. Monthly commercial building rent/lease payment

    Documentation of mortgage or rent expenses paid or due must accompany the grant application (invoices, bills, receipts marked paid, and balance statements). FAILURE TO INCLUDE DOCUMENTATION WILL RESULT IN INELIGIBILITY.

    1. The application form (without attachments) may be considered a public record. However, any financial attachments will be considered confidential and will not be considered a public record.

    On April 30th, 2020, the Common Council authorized the amount of $100,000 from the City’s fund balance to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each grant recipient that qualifies will be offered up to $1,500 for eligible expenses outlined above.

    If requests exceed available funding, grants will be awarded based on a random selection of eligible applications that meet the criteria in the program description. The program description, including eligibility requirements, and application will be made available May 4th, 2020 and the deadline to submit applications, including required supporting documentation is May 6th, 2020 at 4:30 PM.

    This grant is being administered in partnership with the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce.

    Please contact the Chamber with questions:

    Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce



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