COVID-19 Resources (as of January 18, 2021)

Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act Funding Announced

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently announced funding opportunities for the $1.5 billion in supplemental funding they received from the CARES act. This funding is provided to help communities and regions respond to, and recover from, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the designated Economic Development District (EDD) for west central Wisconsin, the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (WCWRPC) is prepared to assist the region in submitting requests for some of these available dollars. See the EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Program flyer for details.

Please contact Lynn Nelson, WCWRPC Executive Director, at or by phone at (715) 456-7291 with any questions or to discuss potential projects.


Wisconsin Granted Federal Disaster Declaration Due to COVID-19 Pandemic


Economic Impact Survey

Business Economic Impact Survey

WEDC, working with UW Oshkosh Center for Customized Research and other economic development organizations recently completed a Business Economic Impact Survey. Click the link above for survey information and research results.


Business Resources

Financial Assistance Programs (click here for PDF version)

Regional Business Fund, Inc. - EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Revolving Loan Fund

The EDA Cares Act Recovery Assistance Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) is designed to assist small businesses (less than (10) full-time equivalent (FTE) employees) most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by assisting with long-term, fixed rate, low-interest working capital loans. See program website for eligibility requiremets.

City of Eau Claire EDA Cares Revolving Loan Fund

This program is designed to provide benefits to businesses that were operating successfully prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Any manufacturing, commercial, service, and creative economy businesses located within the Eau Claire city limits may apply for funding. See program webpage for details.

Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Program (anticipated to start at the end of May)
This program is established to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  See the program webpage for specific details.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Guide to the Main Street Lending Program: (click here)

U.S. Department of Agriculture Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program
USDA is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. This program is available to rural businesses and agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans.  See program webpage for additional details.

SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP)
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11, 2021 for new borrowers and some existing PPP borrowers. The initial wave of loans issued on Monday, January 11, and Wednesday, January 13, will only be available to community financial institutions, but the PPP will open up to all eligible lenders shortly after.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance (EIDL)  

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.  The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. 

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Application Walk Through:

SBA Debt Relief Program
Under this program the SBA will assist with principal and interest payments for SBA 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020. 

SBA Express Bridge Loan Program
This program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access financing quickly.  These loans can provide economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bring the gap while applying for an SBA EIDL loan.

Regional Business Fund, Inc. Micro Loan Fund
The Micro Loan Fund Program provides small loans to startup or newly established small businesses two years of age or less who are unable to access traditional financing (bank or credit union).

Regional Business Fund, Inc. Growth Loan Fund
The Growth Loan Fund is for established companies that have financing needs that cannot be met by traditional lending institutions.  Eligible businesses have been operating for more than two years and have at least $100K in sales within the last 12 months.

Non-Governmental Financial Assistance Resources (Note: this list is not exhaustive of all potential non-governmental assistance programs.)

Technical Assistance

FastTrac Online Business Accelerator Course
In response to the impact COVID-19 has had on the local economy, anyone interested in starting their own business, becoming self-employed or taking a new product to market can attend the Kauffman FastTrac free 10-week online course.

Tourism Grants

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant


Community Resources

USDA Rural Development COVID-19 Resources for Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities

"Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants" Program
(Click here for program link)

On Wednesday, May 27th, Governor Evers announced the Routes to Recovery Local Governments Aid Grants Progarm aimed at helping the state's local governments address some of their most urgent COVID-19 recovery needs. The program is funded with $200 million in federal dollars under the CARES ACT. See program page for funding allocations and program details.

USDA Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant

State Trust Fund Loan Program

Alchemy Community Transformations - Funding Resources for Rural Communities

USDA COVID-19 Federal Resource Guide

USDA Rural Development Fact Sheet

League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Resources

Wisconsin Towns Association Resources

Data Resource - EMSI Job Posting Dashboard

FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program
Protective Measures Page

Coronavirus Pandemic: Public Assistance Simplified Application
Simplified Application.pdf

Coronavirus Pandemic: Eligible Emergency Protective Measures
Protective Measures Fact Sheet.pdf


Residential Assistance Programs


USDA Rural Development & Summary of Program Actions

Summary of Program Actions PDF

Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program (W.R.A.P)
Utilizing funding from the CARES Act, the Department of Administration will partner with the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association to administer the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program.  The $25 million dollars of funding will be allocated to agencies across the state for residents to apply that meet income and need eligibility.


Resources for Farmers

U.S. Department of Agriculture Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program
USDA is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. This program is available to rural businesses and agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans.  See program webpage for additional details.

Wisconsin Farm Support Program
This initiative is a $50 million investment to provide direct payments to Wisconsin farmers in support of the agricultural sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It also includes a $15 million Food Security Initiative to combat hunger throughout the State.  According to the program announcement, eligible farmers will be asked to apply for aid through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and payments could begin arriving as early as June.

American Farmland Trust Farmer Relief Fund

Wisconsin DATCP Resources

USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA Farm Service Agencies

UW Extension

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Farm AID



Resources for Non-Profit Organizations

Wisconsin Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality & Economic Lift (TRAVEL) Stimulus Grant Program

FEMA Public Assistance Programs

National Council of Non Profits


Area Specific Resources

Community Foundation of Chippewa County - Response Recovery Rebuild Fund

Eau Claire Community Foundation Quick Response Community Fund

Chippewa Valley Business Community COVID-19 Resource Facebook Group


Other Resources

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
Self-employed business owners may qualify for unemployment through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program.

USDA Agricultural & Food Research Initiative - Foundational & Applied Science Program


Additional Resources/Agencies  


Resource / Agency Website

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Wisconsin Economic Development Association

Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

Wisconsin Department of Tourism

League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Wisconsin Counties Association

Wisconsin Towns Association

Department of Workforce Development

U.S. Small Business Administration

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Internal Revenue Service

U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration

Federal Transit Administration

Regional Business Fund, Inc.


Barron County Economic Development Corporation

Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation

Clark County Economic Development Corporation & Tourism Bureau

Dunn County Economic Development Corporation

Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation

Polk County Economic Development Corporation

St. Croix County Economic Development Corporation


Main Street America

Restore Your Economy

USDA Rural Development