• COVID-19 Business Resources

  • The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce recognizes the burden that COVID-19 is placing on area business. We want you to know you're not alone and there are resources to help navigate through this challenging time. This page is being continually updated as new resources become available.

    While difficult, we know our business community is resilient and we’re going to come out of this stronger in the end! If you have questions or we can be of help in another way, don't hesitate to reach out. If we don't know the answer we can assist you in finding one.

  • BUSINESS RESOURCES

    NEW! - PIERCE COUNTY ADVISORY - MAY 15, 2020
    In light of the recent decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in regards to the extension of the Governor's Safer at Home order, Pierce County has released these guidelines for businesses and the community.
    Pierce County Advisory - Revised 6-12-2020
    Pierce County Health Media Release
    Pierce County Data Dashboard - Updated Daily

    BADGER BOUNCE BACK - RE-OPEN WISCONSIN
    Wisconsin's plan to phase in reopening of businesses. See more info here.

     

    FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO COVID-19
    See Federal Government Response here

    UNEMPLOYMENT RESOURCES
    WI Unemployment Office FAQ to help answer questions for employees who have been laid off due to COVID-19.

    INSTITUTE FOR BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP 
    The Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship has created this page to anchor important information amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    MARKETING/CUSTOMER RELATIONS

    Ways to Retain Your Customers During the Coronavirus Outbreak 

    How to Market Your Business during Uncertain Times

    U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Combating the Coronavirus

    U.S. Chamber Suggested Strategies

    WISCONSIN RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION

    COVID-19 Crisis: Tips to Help Foodservice Operators
     

    RED LETTER GRANT - FREE TRAINING SERIES

    Free Small Business Workshop Series

     

  • PLAN & PREPARE

    NEW! PIERCE COUNTY BUSINESS TOOLKIT
    This document provides businesses with guidance on preparing for the loosening of restrictions put on business operations. The timeline for gradual business reopening must be determined using public health data reflecting the number of cases, the level of access to testing, level of PPE available for first responders and healthcare workers, hospital readiness, and capacity for local contract tracing. Local and state orders regarding the phased re-opening of businesses must be followed. This document may be updated as new guidance comes out. Please check back often!

    Pierce County Business Toolkit

    NEW! PLAN & PREPARE: SWOT TOOL
    In preparation of the re-opening of our businesses and economy, every business owner should conduct a SWOT analysis to assess their preparedness for recovery! This is the first step in addressing issues that may create challenges for your re-opening planning.

    SWOT Worksheet
    SWOT-48 Questions to Ask

    NEW! RESTAURANT RE-OPEN TOOLKIT
    This tool is brought to you by StreetSense.com. It was designed to help restaurant owners plan and mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The kit contains clear and concise resources for managing capital, planning for relaunch, adjusting operations in the wake of the crisis, and more.

    Restaurant Re-Open Toolkit

    NEW! NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION - COVID-19 REOPENING GUIDANCE
    The purpose of guidance is to offer you direction and provide a framework for best practices as you reopen.

    Reopening Guidance

    NEW! WEDC RESOURCES
    Wisconsin Main Street and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) offer ideas, tips, and best practices from local, state and national resources to allow communities to survive, thrive, and prepare to reopen.

    Rise to the Challenge: Navigating Through Covid-19 in Wisconsin

    Reopen Guidelines

    NEW! REOPEN MAIN STREET
    We stumbled across this website, which is the best we've seen! It offers ideas and plans for navigating this new reality in a very organized way with plans and advice broken down by business sectors: Retail, Eating/Drinking places, Service Businesses, Arts/Attractions, etc. 5-stars! We highly recommend!

    Reopen Main Street Website

  • FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE & TOOLS

    U. S. Small Business Administration
    Wisconsin small businesses and private non-profits are now eligible for SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans to meet the needs of payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

    Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance Portal
    Economic Injury Disaster Loan Frequently Asked Questions
    How to Apply
    COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application​
    How to Apply (video)

    Businesses will be asked to supply the following information as part of the application process:

    Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T) for the applicant, principals and affiliates.
    Complete copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return.
    Schedule of Liabilities (SBA Form 2202).
    Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413).
    Profit and loss statements
    Monthly sales figures (SBA Form 1368)

    SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process at: 1-800-659-2955.

    Mentoring & Assistance
    Western Wisconsin SCORE and Pierce County Economic Development Corporation are great resources for advice and free mentoring assistance for small business owners including guidance thorough the EIDL application process.

    Western Wisconsin SCORE
    SCORE Guidelines for Disaster Assistance
    SCORE Client Resource Guide
    Pierce County Economic Development Corporation

    IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief
    The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.

    Coronavirus Tax Relief Summary
    Tax Deadline changed – IRS Guidance on Federal Tax payments

    Small Business Development Center
    America’s SBDCs are working to help small businesses address the business challenges of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    SBA Covid-19 Small Business Resources

    Informational Webinars: To assist the business community in regards to the loan program, Wisconsin's SBA office is offering daily webinars to answer your questions:

    10am Webinars    |    2pm Webinars

    NEW! USDA Rural Development
    USDA Rural Development has financing available to assist everyone in a community.Businesses can be assisted with acquisition, start-up or expansion funds as well as funding for energy efficiency improvements. Housing Programs assist rural residents in purchasing a home or repairing their existing home. Multi-Family Housing Programs can assist owners with rehabilitation and provide financing for new construction or purchase/rehabilitation. Value-Added Producer Grants are available for farmers to conduct feasibility studies/business plans and for working capital to start the operation. Municipalities can be assisted with funding for water and waste systems and for community facilities such as fire trucks, police stations, libraries, etc. Non-profits can be assisted with funding to build facilities and/or purchase equipment. For more information, contact USDA Rural Development at 715-345-7600.

    USDA Rural Development Website
    USDA Program Flyer

    WEDC’s Small Business 2020 Grant Program
    Small Business 2020 (SB20/20) is a $5 million grant program to assist businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave; providing grants of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses, especially retailers, restaurants and small service providers. The grants will be deployed by partnering with the State’s 23 community development financial institutions (CDFIs). According to the WEDC, the intention is to expand this program to larger businesses as resources become available.

    WEDC SB20/20 Information
     

    NEW! WEDC FOCUS FORWARD WEB PORTAL
    Focus Forward serves as an online one-stop shop for state, federal and other funding and operational assistance programs, while also providing up-to-date information through multimedia formats. Check out their podcast episodes, downloads, live training events, and more!

    Focus Forward Portal

     

    NEW! Forum Communication Company's $1 Million Community Commitment Grant Fund
    To show our support, Forum Communications has established a one million dollar matching grant fund to assist locally-owned
    businesses during this most challenging time. We are committed to helping our locally-owned businesses reach their customers. We invite
    all to apply today for a matching marketing dollars grant. This can be used with the Republican Eagle, Star Observer and/or Rivertowns.net.

    Community Commitment Grant Agreement
    Community Commitment Grant Overview

    NEW! Red Letter Relief Fund
    The Red Letter Grant launches a Relief Fund aimed at supporting existing women-owned businesses throughout the ten county region of western Wisconsin. Learn more here.

    Apply for Relief Funds
    Apply for Start-up Funds

    Kiva Loans
    Kiva has expanded lending terms/eligibility to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Effective immediately, U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan will have access to expanded eligibility and larger loans--the maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000. Applicants may receive a grace period of up to 6 months for greater financial flexibility. Downtown businesses in our communities that are women-, minority- and/or veteran-owned are also eligible for a 50% match from WEDC to expedite their loan. Consider applying or if you have the means, become a lender yourself.

    Kiva Loan Program

     

     

  • REMOTE WORKING TOOLS

    ARTICLES
    5 Tips for staying productive while working from home
    20 Tips for working at home
    Work from Home 101

    ALL-INCLUSIVE

    GOOGLE SUITE/HANGOUTS – $6-25/PER USER
    Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Audio/Phone | Instant Messaging | Information Storage/Sharing | Project Management | Security/Encryption
    *In response to COVID-19 through July 1:  free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally including larger meetings, for up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive

    OFFICE 365/TEAMS – $0-12.50/PER USER
    Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Instant Messaging | Information Storage/Sharing | Project Management | Security/Encryption
    *In response to COVID-19: Beginning March 10, Microsoft is rolling out updates to the free version of Teams that will lift restrictions on user limits.

    COMMUNICATION

    ZOOM – $0-19.99
    Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Web Conferencing/Webinar | Security/Encryption | Tips for securing your Zoom Meeting here
    In response to COVID-19: free for educators to move toward virtual learning

    ZOOM PHONE – $14.99
    Services Provided: Audio/Phone | Security/Encryption

    SLACK – $0-12.50
    Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Instant Messaging | Information Storage/Sharing | Security/Encryption

    GOTOMEETING – $12-16/PER USER
    Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Web Conferencing/Webinar | Audio/Phone | Instant Messaging
    *In response to COVID-19: some organizations may be eligible for access to free emergency remote work toolkit. Can register here.

    INFORMATION SERVICES

    DROPBOX BUSINESS – $12.50-20/PER USER
    Services Provided: Information Storage/Sharing | Security/Encryption
    *In response to COVID-19: Free Dropbox Business subscriptions for a three-month period to nonprofits and NGOs that are focused on fighting COVID-19

    PROJECT MANAGEMENT
    TRELLO – $0-20.83/PER USER
    Services Provided: Information Storage/Sharing | Project Management | Security/Encryption

    MONDAY - $39+
    Services Provided: Information Storage/Sharing | Project Management


     

  • VIRTUAL BUSINESS & CAREER TRAINING

    Just because you can’t work IN the business, doesn’t mean you can’t be working ON your business. And for your furloughed workforce make this time an opportunity for professional development.

    UW-River Falls Soft Skills for the Workforce
    From coaching and mentoring and leadership to organization and time management – now’s the time to hone your skills so you and your business are ready for the recovery! See Class Options

    Self-Paced Instructor-Led Virtual Training
    UWRF Continuing Education has hundreds of self-paced or instructor-led online options.
    Browse Online Classes Catalog