WWBIC Launches a Fox Valley Region COVID-19 Rural Business Revival Grants Program

WWBIC Launches a Fox Valley Region COVID-19 Rural Business Revival Grants Program

WWBIC Launches a Fox Valley Region COVID-19 Rural Business Revival Grants Program

The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) is launching a COVID-19 Rural Business Revival Grants Program in the Fox Valley region of Wisconsin to assist single mothers who are racial and ethnic minorities who own micro and small businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Micro and small business assistance grants up to $5,000 will be made available to help a minimum of five eligible business owners in rural areas of Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano and Waupaca counties.

Funding for the program comes from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund established by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and United Way Fox Cities, with additional generous donations from the community.

“WWBIC understands that entrepreneurs who are also single mothers and racial and ethnic minorities in rural communities have suffered disproportionately from the COVID-19 crisis. These individuals face barriers in accessing traditional financing and resources. While relief efforts have helped, small business revenues remain low. We feel that this upheaval will lead to potentially devastating impact on small businesses in underserved communities as they reach out to us for support amid business closures and economic downturns. This grant identifies that segment of our small business community is in great jeopardy of experiencing catastrophic outcomes that could spill over into our neighborhoods.” – Julie Stoffel

How will this program work and who is eligible?

WWBIC will be handling the application and distribution of the grants, as well as follow up business coaching and mentorship opportunities. All information about the program will be this grant is available on WWBIC’s website, wwbic.com/foxvalleyrevivalgrants, on Wednesday, September 9th at 10am. The application will remain open until 11:59 pm on Wednesday September 30th.

Funds will be targeted to for-profit, existing micro and small businesses (not a start-up) where the applicant is a racial or ethnic minority who is a single mother and owns at least 50% of the business. Businesses must operate in rural areas of Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano and Waupaca counties.

For additional information or questions about the program, please contact Julie Stoffel at Julie.stoffel@wwbic.com or 920.944.2710

About WWBIC Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color, veterans and low income individuals, providing direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capability. Since 1987, WWBIC has lent over $77 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $24 million and over 570 active borrowers. To learn more about WWBIC visit: www.wwbic.com

Micro and small business assistance grants up to $5,000 will be made available to help a minimum of five eligible business owners in rural areas of Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano and Waupaca counties.

Funding for the program comes from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund established by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and United Way Fox Cities, with additional generous donations from the community.

“WWBIC understands that entrepreneurs who are also single mothers and racial and ethnic minorities in rural communities have suffered disproportionately from the COVID-19 crisis. These individuals face barriers in accessing traditional financing and resources. While relief efforts have helped, small business revenues remain low. We feel that this upheaval will lead to potentially devastating impact on small businesses in underserved communities as they reach out to us for support amid business closures and economic downturns. This grant identifies that segment of our small business community is in great jeopardy of experiencing catastrophic outcomes that could spill over into our neighborhoods.” – Julie Stoffel

How will this program work and who is eligible?

WWBIC will be handling the application and distribution of the grants, as well as follow up business coaching and mentorship opportunities. All information about the program will be this grant is available on WWBIC’s website, wwbic.com/foxvalleyrevivalgrants, on Wednesday, September 9th at 10am. The application will remain open until 11:59 pm on Wednesday September 30th.

Funds will be targeted to for-profit, existing micro and small businesses (not a start-up) where the applicant is a racial or ethnic minority who is a single mother and owns at least 50% of the business. Businesses must operate in rural areas of Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano and Waupaca counties.

For additional information or questions about the program, please contact Julie Stoffel at Julie.stoffel@wwbic.com or 920.944.2710

About United Way Fox Cities

United Way Fox Cities improves lives by bringing diverse people together to build a stronger, more caring community for everyone. To fulfill our mission, we work with partner agencies and programs that help us address critical issues in the Fox Cities.

About Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region brings people together to think about the community’s vision for well-being and ways to help solve problems that lead to greater flourishing for all.

About WWBIC

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color, veterans and low income individuals, providing direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capability. Since 1987, WWBIC has lent over $77 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $24 million and over 570 active borrowers. To learn more about WWBIC visit: www.wwbic.com

We Stand in Solidarity & Support

We Stand in Solidarity & Support

We Stand in Solidarity & Support

WWBIC was birthed out of the women’s economic empowerment and the microlending movement with a targeted focus on women, people of color, lower income individuals and Veterans. From day one, our work center around removing inequalities and disparities across the community by serving and living our mission daily, one client at a time! The pervasive injustices across our country is intolerable and WWBIC vows to never quit, never give in, never give up on our collective work of dismantling racism – we will not lose hope. We recommit to our 33-year history of advocacy ensuring resiliency to our most vulnerable businesses – the underserved, persons of color, women-owned, and Veterans.

To our clients, partners, supporters, volunteers, funders, policy makers, and elected officials that are asking what WWBIC has done, is doing and will do in the future to advance equity for all:

1. WWBIC is providing and working on behalf of micro businesses to seek funding – philanthropic (private and public), regional, local, and national dollars addressing the inequalities in access to capital – for women, minorities, Veterans. NEW funds with new impact for this time we are living in now!

2. WWBIC is leading in advancing new resources with federal, state, and local government – crafting meaningful support specifically for those whom WWBIC has been dedicated to and who are in such desperate need now – Black and Hispanic/Latinx businesses (businesses owned by people of color are disproportionally affected), lower wealth clients, women and Veteran owned businesses.

3. Created and staffed a statewide rapid response team – Project Optimize – whose efforts will augment our current team’s support and work with small business owners affected by the multi-layered crises facing businesses today.

4. Partnerships with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and working to narrow the gap to access to capital further for all.

5. Partnership with SBDC to advance educational, technical assistance, and coaching specifically targeting our Hispanic bilingual and bicultural clients

6. Invited and active participating member of the MKE Civic Response Team/Economic Recovery Team to work through long-term outcomes of: Ensure that African American and Latino/a households and businesses are not left behind following COVID-19 and that economic recovery addresses the disparities present long before the pandemic; Increase the wealth of Milwaukee’s African American and Latino/a households.

Strategies –

o Employment and Workforce Support.

o Small Business and Economic Corridor Stability.

o Stability of African American and Latino/a Homeowners.

o Financial Stability and Wealth Building.

7. Leadership in the Hispanic Collaborative to advance Hispanic entrepreneurship, voter turnout, and increasing household income – to bring Milwaukee from the 44th spot in the nation to the top 10 spot for the Hispanic Wellness Index.

8. Further dedicated work with HACM through their Choice Neighborhood Initiative – advancing financial capability to our most vulnerable population – teaching and talking about home ownership, entrepreneurship, self sufficiency, self promotion, self-empowerment. Serve as a leading advisory committee member to the Governor’s Financial Literacy Council.

9. Deploying our Cultural Competency framework model to ensure staff/WWBIC culturally competent. Here we build on training and support of the past and are upping our game in understanding and respecting differences amongst each other in addition to the demographics we serve.

10. Sharing and educating on our learnings from books, videos, and articles about inequalities and injustices across the globe and how we can continue to advance the very important work we do each and every day.

11. Providing support and resources to Kenosha area small businesses that have been impacted via forgivable loans, planning and deploying a WWBIC Gives Back Campaign to provide support to the community, and working on behalf of the community to seek additional funding to support small businesses.

WWBIC is not alone in this work – as we look to the future, the call to action to our clients, partners, supporters, volunteers, funders, policy makers, and elected officials is clear – join us in our work in dismantling racism, rejecting those who propel hate, injustices, violence and fear.

#kenoshastrong #blacklivesmatter #strongertogether