Evers announces $75 million to invest in diverse businesses, COVID-19 relief

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 3:28 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Governor Tony Evers announced $75 million in grants for diverse businesses Tuesday, noting how some communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Evers explained Tuesday at the Dominican Center in Milwaukee that the pandemic has underscored disparities people in underserved communities, including people of color, have experienced.

“We’re working every day to ensure our economy recovers from this pandemic, and part of that means making sure every family, every business, and every community can bounce back,” Evers said. “These grants will help make sure some of our hardest-hit communities have a fighting chance to rebound and recover while ensuring our state can move forward and build a more prosperous, equitable future.”

Half of the newly announced funding will go toward the Diverse Business Assistance Grant program, which supports chambers of commerce and other groups that provide technical services to businesses owned by those disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

The other $37.5 million will go toward the Diverse Business Investment Grant Program, which provides funds to community development financial institutions. Evers noted that the institutions then give out grants to micro-businesses, which are companies with 10 or fewer employees, who are owned by people disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus.

Evers has already pledged $50 million to promote equity and inclusion with COVID-19 relief, for a total of $125 million with the new funding.

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