WWBIC Invest in Business Grant

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WWBIC’s Invest in Business Grant is available to support diverse Wisconsin businesses including those in underserved communities or other areas disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. $3,000,000 in total will be distributed with individual grants available based on need up to $10,000.

The Grant will assist eligible diverse micro and small businesses in both urban and rural communities statewide with sustainability, scalability, and growth; further advancing capital across the state of Wisconsin.

Since 1987, WWBIC has served as the leading innovative economic development corporation that is “Putting Dreams to Work” by assisting micro enterprise and small businesses throughout the 72 counties in Wisconsin. We open the doors of opportunity by providing underserved individuals who are interested in starting, strengthening or expanding businesses with access to critical resources such as responsible financial products and quality business and personal financial training. WWBIC focuses on individuals who face barriers in accessing business financing and training support, including women, people of color, veterans, rural residents, and lower-wealth individuals.

As a culturally effective organization, WWBIC strives to improve the economic well-being of underserved individuals by advancing inclusive entrepreneurship and facilitating self-sufficiency strategies.

Diverse Business*

Businesses owned by individuals from communities that have in the past been denied access to capital or who have been underbanked

*Source: Wisconsin Department of Administration


  • Grants up to $10,000 based on need are available 
  • $3 million in aggregate grants will be awarded

WWBIC reserves the right to negotiate, limit, or amend awards in accordance with the objectives of the program.


  • Business owner is a documented WWBIC client that utilized WWBIC services in 2020, 2021 or 2022 (including those trained, counseled, received loan/grant or services through a WWBIC initiative such as and including Kiva, Mercado, Black Business Boost or VBOC)
  • Business has sustained negative financial impact due to COVID-19
  • Business is located in Wisconsin and the owner participates in the day-to-day operations of the business
  • Business is for profit
  • Business needs to be good standing with the State of Wisconsin and current on all local, state and federal taxes
  • Business needs to be open, operational with revenue generation since 2021. (If business was started in 2022 or 2023 you are not eligible to apply)
  • Business needs to have all necessary permits, licenses, certificates or other approval, governmental or otherwise, necessary to operate its business and own and operate its assets
  • Business needs to not be listed on the State of Wisconsin Ineligible Vendors Directory or listed on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Listing of Debarred, Suspended and Ineligible Contractors
  • Grant use of funds is nonduplicative and business cannot obtain other funding for the same expense

Note: The Invest in Business Grant is a stand-alone product, it does not need to be coupled with a loan

Eligible Use of Funds

  • Payroll/Benefits
  • Lease/Mortgage/Incubator Payment
  • Leasehold Improvements
  • Equipment Purchase, Inventory, or Supplies
  • Marketing
  • Other Working Capital

Note: Grants cannot be used for personal expenses


Application will be shared electronically through Constant Contact with WWBIC clients who were active in 2020, 2021, 2022.  Application will be shared in English/Spanish.

Application opens:  March XX, 2023 at ?? time

Application closes:  March XX, 2023 at ?? time

Note: If applicant has limited English language proficiency or a disability, interpreter assistance may be provided during the application period for additional support. If needed, please share language or disability need preference and reach out to lisa.sullivan@wwbic.com. Please reach out as soon as possible so we can try to pre-schedule in advance during the application period.

Documents required in application include:

  • Proof of business: (one needed) options could include Incorporation documents (article of incorporation or article of organization or Doing Business As (DBA) documentation), business permits/licenses
  • 2021 Federal Business Taxes (or schedule C of form 1040 for sole proprietor)
  • 2022 Federal Business Taxes (schedule C of form 1040 for sole proprietor) or if taxes not yet completed 2022 Profit & Loss through December 2022

Note: Documents submitted must include your business name

One week prior to opening the application, WWBIC clients who received services in 2020, 2021, or 2022 will receive information on grant, eligibility, required documents and application timeframe.


Upon closing of the Invest in Business Grant application, applications will be reviewed in the order they are received and will be equitably considered based on program goals. WWBIC’s goal is to award grants and process the one-time disbursement as expeditiously as possible. Processing will be continual until grant funds are expended.

Note: We anticipate being oversubscribed with applications for consideration and will communicate via email with all applicants when the application closes to share details on number of applications received the review process, anticipated timeline and supporting documentation needed to issue the grants

Award Disbursement Requirements

  1. Businesses will need to provide updated employee information forms for themselves and their business employees
    • Note: As a nonprofit, WWBIC is required to obtain data on our clients and businesses served to measure impact of our services
  2. Business will need to attest if awarded this grant, that they have not received funding for the same expense from another funding source.
  3. Business needs to agree to provide receipts/documentation to WWBIC as soon as possible, no later than 3 months, after receiving the grant funds to substantiate their expenses for their use of funds. 
  4. Business needs to agree to have grant funds deposited electronically via ACH in their business bank account; W9 and ACH Business Banking information will be required.
  5. Business needs to acknowledge that acceptance of grant funding could have tax implications; please consult your tax advisor. Recipients will receive 1099 documents reflecting their grant award.

 If a business is unable to provide the employee information forms, W9 and ACH information, they voluntarily remove themselves from award consideration

This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP0135 awarded to the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) via the Wisconsin Department of Administration by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.


Lisa Sullivan, Program Manager

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