City of Milwaukee/WWBIC to Launch Small Business COVID-19 Forgivable Loan Program

Oct 30, 2020

The City of Milwaukee along with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) is launching the City of Milwaukee Building Resiliency Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program to assist micro and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

$1,000,000 has been approved by the Common Council for small business forgivable loans – up to $15,000. These dollars will be able to assist a minimum of 57 businesses in the City of Milwaukee.

The funds have been made available to the City of Milwaukee from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Federal CARES Act.

How will this program work and who’s eligible?  

WWBIC will be handling the application, underwriting and distribution of the forgivable loans, as well as follow up business coaching and mentorship opportunities. All information about the City of Milwaukee Building Resiliency forgivable loan product is available on WWBIC’s website at

Funds will be targeted to micro and small businesses (20 or less employees) located in the City of Milwaukee that retain or create a minimum of one job for a low-to-moderate income individual or to micro business owners whose individual household income is below 80% of the Milwaukee County Area Median income. Income information can be found on WWBIC’s website. Job creation can be accomplished by re-hiring or bringing an employee who has been laid off back to work.

Interested small business owners, please review all requirements for eligibility and all documents needed for the application at

When will the application be available?  

The application will be live on Friday, November 13th at noon. All applications will be reviewed in the order they are received (time stamped) and will be equitably considered. The application will remain open until 11:59 PM on Sunday, November 22nd.

“We know that we are in the midst of more than just a public health crisis; we face an enormous economic crisis that’s affecting workers and business owners,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “In addition to the City’s Restart grant program, we are partnering with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation on the Building Resiliency Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program to thoughtfully distribute our federal CARES Act dollars and provide much needed assistance to local businesses as they weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“WWBIC has been on the front economic development line since the health crisis began. These funds from the City of Milwaukee will truly support and advance the economic and financial healing of many micro and small businesses in Milwaukee. We are thrilled to serve here,” said Wendy K. Baumann, WWBIC President/CVO.

For additional information or questions about applying for the City of Milwaukee Building Resiliency Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program, please contact Thalia Mendez at or (414) 395-4545.


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:

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