Press Release: Gov. Evers, U.S. Sen. Baldwin Announce $1.9 Million Federal Grant to Aid Wisconsin Entrepreneurs

Office of Governor Tony Evers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 28, 2023
Gov. Evers, U.S. Sen. Baldwin Announce $1.9 Million Federal Grant to Aid Wisconsin Entrepreneurs
Funds will support legal, financial advice for more than 1,100 businesses
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today, together with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), announced the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) has awarded the state of Wisconsin $1.9 million in technical assistance funding to support legal and financial advice for small businesses.

“Small businesses are the hearts of our communities and huge drivers for local economies, employing about half of Wisconsin workers and bringing unique goods and services to our communities, and they are more likely to hire locally, buy supplies locally, and get back to their local communities, too,” said Gov. Evers. “This support from our federal partners will go a long way in building upon our work to help make sure our small businesses have every opportunity and resource to succeed and thrive.”

Today’s announcement builds upon the governor’s and U.S. Sen. Baldwin’s work to support small businesses and economic development across the state. Earlier this year, Gov. Evers and U.S. Sen. Baldwin announced Wisconsin would receive nearly $80 million in SSBCI funding to support entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the state. Additionally, under Gov. Evers’ leadership, Wisconsin has invested millions of dollars in supporting small businesses across the state, including through the We’re All InWisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery, and the Main Street Bounceback Grant Programs.

“In Wisconsin, our small businesses are the backbone of our local economies and the fabric of our communities,” said U.S. Sen. Baldwin. “I am proud to have helped deliver federal funding to ensure that our small business owners and entrepreneurs have the tools they need to reach new customers, grow their businesses, and keep our economy strong.”

The $1.9 million announced today will be administered through the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), which will award grants to the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Law and Entrepreneurship (L&E) Clinic and the UW Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship.

“Wisconsin is a place where innovative ideas are turned into successful businesses,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “We are grateful that this federal grant will strengthen our state’s support system for new and underserved businesses.”

“One of our state’s top priorities is to ensure that Wisconsin’s economy works for all,” said DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “The critical technical assistance made possible by this additional grant will build on our existing efforts to support small businesses and entrepreneurs around the state.”

The L&E Clinic and the UW Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship will use the funding to provide legal, accounting, and financial advice to companies preparing to apply for state or federal small business support.

“Our clinic, which serves more than 300 entrepreneurs across the state each year, will be able to increase capacity and create new online legal resources,” said L&E Clinic Director Emily Buchholz. “Access to attorneys and on-demand technology is a powerful combination with a track record for long-term business success.”

The grant will enable the state to serve 1,150 small businesses through the five-year program, including helping 120 new small businesses form through the development of an on-demand LLC formation tool.

“We are excited to assist Wisconsin entrepreneurs’ access to the SSBCI funds that the state is preparing to release,” added UW Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship Director Bon Wikenheiser. “This will be a great opportunity to grow the innovative small businesses that are so important to our state’s economy.”
An online version of this release is available here.