Small Business Grants in Wisconsin | Fund Your Business

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
Last updated: 
WebinarCare offers informative content for educational purposes only, not as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice. We may earn commissions if you use the services we recommend on this site.
WebinarCare is led by Steve Bennett, a seasoned expert in the business world. He's gathered a team that's passionate about giving you reliable advice on everything from starting a business to picking the right tools. We base our tips and guides on real-life experience, ensuring you get straightforward and proven advice. Our goal is to make your business journey smoother and more successful. When you choose WebinarCare, you're choosing a trustworthy guide for all things business.
Wisconsin Small Business Grants

In Wisconsin, also known as, The Badger State, starting and growing a small business can be challenging, particularly when securing the necessary funding. One often overlooked source of funding for small businesses comes in the form of grants. In Wisconsin, various grants are available to small business owners, offering a valuable source of funding to help you achieve your business goals. 

This comprehensive guide will explore the Small Business Grants in Wisconsin, how to find them, and tips for successfully applying. And, if you are planning to form a Limited Liability Company in Wisconsin and want to have small business grants, this article is right for you. Read the guide to fully understand small business grants in Wisconsin.

Webinarcare Editorial Team had thorough research and market study regarding the state-funded small business grants in Wisconsin. It would be best to cross-check all the factors before choosing the right one for your Wisconsin business.

What is a Small Business Grant?

A business grant is a sum awarded to a small business that does not need to be repaid. Grants are typically given by governments, nonprofit organizations, and private companies to help support the growth and development of small businesses. Grants can be used for various purposes, such as starting a new business, expanding an existing one, purchasing equipment, or funding research and development.

If you are planning to start a business in Wisconsin, you should consider having small business grants for your business’s funding.

Small Business Grants in Wisconsin

Various types of small business grants are available in Wisconsin, depending on the source of funding and the specific needs of your business. Here are three main categories of grants that you can explore:

Wisconsin Funded Small Business Grants

Wisconsin funded small business grants offer several programs to support small businesses. These grants may be specific to certain industries, regions, or business stages. Examples of state-funded small business grants in Wisconsin include:

1. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Grants

The WEDC offers a variety of grant programs to support small businesses in the state. Some popular grant programs include the Small Business Development Grant, which provides funds to local organizations for small business development; the Community Development Investment Grant, which supports downtown revitalization projects; and the Entrepreneurship Support Grant, which funds initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

2. Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant

The Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. This grant program aims to support small businesses in creating new jobs and training resources for their employees. The grant provides funds for customized, employer-driven worker training programs that help businesses address their unique workforce challenges.

3. Ethnic Minority Business Grant Program

This grant program is offered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Division of Enterprise Development. It aims to support minority-owned businesses in the state. Eligible minority business enterprises (MBEs) can receive financial assistance for business development, expansion, and growth. The grant funds can be used for various purposes, such as purchasing equipment, inventory, working capital, and financing building improvements or construction projects.

Aside from Wisconsin funded small business grants, there are federal small business grants available. These grants can not only provide a much-needed funding boost, but they can also offer valuable networking and mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurs starting a business in Wisconsin.

WEBINARCARE EDITORIAL TEAM

Federal Small Business Grants Available in Wisconsin

Federal small business grants in Wisconsin may also offer grants to businesses, particularly those that contribute to the community’s economic development or create jobs. Examples of federal small business grants in Wisconsin include:

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive federal initiative that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in research and development (R&D) with the potential for commercialization. The SBIR program is coordinated by the Small Business Administration (SBA). It operates across 11 participating federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.

sbir

To apply for the SBIR program, small businesses must submit proposals in response to agency-specific solicitations, which outline each participating federal agency’s research topics and priorities. The application process is highly competitive, emphasizing the proposed technology’s technical innovation, feasibility, and commercial potential.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is a federal initiative designed to encourage collaboration between small businesses and research institutions in the United States. The program aims to promote the commercialization of innovative technologies from research and development (R&D) efforts and foster entrepreneurship and economic growth.

Administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the STTR program involves five participating federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

To apply for the STTR program, small businesses must submit proposals in response to agency-specific solicitations, which outline each participating federal agency’s research topics and priorities. The application process is highly competitive, with a strong emphasis on the proposed technology’s technical innovation, feasibility, commercial potential, and the quality of the collaboration between the small business and research institution.

Other Federal Grant Programs

In addition to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, there are several other federal grant programs available to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in various sectors and stages of development in Wisconsin. Some of these programs include:

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grants: The EDA, under the U.S. Department of Commerce, offers grants to support economic development, job creation, and business growth in economically distressed communities. These grants are typically awarded to local governments, nonprofits, and economic development organizations, supporting small businesses through technical assistance, infrastructure development, and other services.

eda

Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG): Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the RBDG program offers grants to support small businesses in rural areas. These grants are intended to promote job creation, business expansion, and economic development in rural communities. Eligible applicants include towns, communities, state agencies, nonprofits, and higher education institutions.

Local and Regional Small Business Grants in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, various local and regional small business grants are available to support and encourage the growth and development of small businesses. These grants often target specific industries or demographic groups and can provide financial assistance, training, and resources to help businesses succeed. 

To find specific grant opportunities in Wisconsin, it’s essential to check with local and regional economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and other business support organizations. They can provide information on available grants, eligibility requirements, and application processes.

Benefits of Small Business Grants

There are several benefits to obtaining a small business grant for your Wisconsin business, including:

  • No Repayment Necessary: Unlike loans, grants do not require repayment, making them an attractive option for small businesses needing financial assistance.
  • Retain Equity: Grants allow owners to fully own their businesses without giving up a portion of their equity in exchange for funding.
  • Credibility: Receiving a grant can enhance a business’s credibility, making it more attractive to potential investors, partners, and customers.
  • Networking Opportunities: Many grant programs offer networking opportunities and support services, helping small businesses connect with mentors, industry experts, and other business owners.

Tips for Applying for Small Business Grants in Wisconsin

Applying for small business grants in Wisconsin can be competitive. Here are some tips to help you increase your chances of success:

  • Research Available Grants: Research the various small business grants available in Wisconsin. Look for grants designed for your industry, target market, or demographics. Check with local and regional economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and other business support organizations for information on available grants.
  • Read the Eligibility Criteria Carefully: Ensure your business meets the eligibility criteria before applying for a grant. Some grants may have specific requirements based on location, industry, business size, or the demographics of the business owner.
  • Create a Solid Business Plan: A well-written business plan is essential when applying for grants. It demonstrates your understanding of your business, target market, and growth strategy. Be sure to include financial projections and a clear explanation of how the grant funds will be used to achieve your goals.
  • Prepare a Detailed Budget: Grant reviewers want to see how you plan to use the funds. Prepare a detailed budget that outlines the specific expenses the grant will cover and how these expenses will contribute to your business’s growth and success.
  • Follow the Application Guidelines: Each grant will have its application process and guidelines. Be sure to read these carefully and follow them closely. Submit all required documentation and complete all necessary forms.
  • Write a Compelling Grant Proposal: Your grant proposal should clearly explain the purpose of your business, how the grant funds will be used, and the expected outcomes. Be sure to highlight your business’s benefits to the local economy and community.
  • Review and Edit your Application: Review it carefully for errors or omissions before submitting it. Consider asking a colleague or mentor to review your application, as they may also catch mistakes or provide helpful feedback.
  • Submit your Application On Time: Be aware of the grant deadline and submit your application well in advance. Only complete applications may be considered.
  • Be Prepared for Follow-Up: If your application is successful, be prepared to provide additional information or documentation as requested by the grant agency. This may include progress reports or updates on the use of grant funds.
  • Don’t Get Discouraged: Applying for grants can be competitive, and you may only receive some grants you apply for. Use your feedback to improve your application for future opportunities, and keep searching for grants that fit your business needs.

Can I Get an SBA Grant for Small Businesses?

The SBA doesn’t typically offer grants directly to small businesses. Instead, the agency issues grant funding to state, local and tribal governments, as well as nonprofit organizations, to be used to support small-business initiatives. SBA loans are an available alternative to SBA grants.

FAQs

What are small business grants?
Small business grants in Wisconsin offer financial assistance to newly established or small businesses for growth and development purposes.
What type of business grants are available in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin offers grants for a variety of businesses including startups, minority-owned businesses, export-focused businesses, manufacturing plants, and more.
How do I find the right grant for my business?
Research online to find appropriate grants. Visit a small business development center for help finding the grant that suits you.
What’s the process of applying for small business grants in Wisconsin?
You need to explore eligibility criteria and requirements, follow specific application guidelines and fill out the necessary paperwork, along with supporting documents.
What kind of documentation does applying for a grant usually require?
You’d require documents reflecting your business plan, financial projections, incorporating and registering papers and other specific state documents.
What are eligibility criteria for Wisconsin small business grants?
Eligibility criteria commonly relate to the size and type of business, recipient location, a non-profit and corporate status, approval of design or manufacturers of a commercially-viable idea.
Can business apply for multiple Wisconsin grants being funded simultaneously, as part of supporting growth plan?
Yes, a business can apply for and receive multiple Wisconsin grants as long as they serve distinct purposes and do not conflict with each other.
Who can attest eligibility of a small business grant applicant?
Eligibility is verified by varied entities depending on relevant tool. Some grant programs assess the applicants’ qualifications internally while others involve grant administrators or an expert grant maker.
Are there any grants applicable for rural small business owners in Wisconsin?
Yes, several state and federal agencies focus on economic development aimed at businesses in Wisconsin’s rural areas.
How detailed do applicants need to be in their business plans when applying for Wisconsin grants?
A well-executed business strategy will help grant-makers gauge your business worth and authorize Wisconsin grants to credible candidates, employees and individuals.
Who can receive grants other than startups and minorities in Wisconsin?
Veterans are a diversified social group allowed to receive fund opportunities covering education, housing, lending, and entrepreneurial segments across Wisconsin.
How do I evaluate if a grant makes sense for my business?
Considering current funding gives you policy insights of your target industry is necessary at the time of decision-making while setting clear goals, developing a business plan.
How can businesses with low credit get grants for development?
Performance-based grants, repayable loans, tax incentives, etc., allow even an impacted credit-business to earn funds aligned with corporate attainments.
What amount of time does a grant awarding procedure take?
Once the grant proposal has been granted and the paperwork has been approved, it usually takes a few weeks, for execution.
Would a grant incentive depend on a business income source?
No, because grants are awarded based on performances and designing relevance against agreement programs outlined by county funding entities.
Can business owners pay themselves with grant money in Wisconsin?
Much kind of grants involve funding small-scale employees but ultimately disallows sharing business amount for the cash out procedure, indeed misleading decisions can lead to the consequences.
If awarded a Wisconsin small business grant, is that money taxed?
Small business grants are easily taxable to the extent they engage an immense amount of financial returns after the rollout of funds available.
Can I appeal the Wisconsin grant disqualification?
Yes, if your Wisconsin grant application is rejected, you have an opportunity to protest which provides a detailed look regarding demerits.
What is the role of the Small Business Administration in business grants?
For entrepreneurs looking for start-up advice as well as for those looking for small-business support services after launch, the SBA offers resources and literacy boosters which hugely mark affirmative changes in business sector development.
Are some small business grants available for nonprofits?
Yes, Wisconsin has specific grant and funding opportunities available for eligible nonprofits.
Are federal grants available for Wisconsin businesses?
Yes, While Wisconsin works with tax programmes and homegrown grants also applies for federal grants for maximum usability covering bothe state found advisory doors namely- BrightScope and the Real-Time Services Platform.
What type of businesses are limited to Small Business grants in Wisconsin?
Agribusiness, export-dependent industries, restaurants and somel construction-related businesses can typically not apply for small business grants.
How many recipients have Wisconsin small business grant programs traditionally served in a year?
The exact information is not available, but various opportunities suggest that hundreds to thousands of businesses are approved their grant money every year.
What is the difference between Community Development Financial Institutions and Wisconsin Business Incubators?
CDFIs empower small businesses not only by offering financial resources but also by providing comprehensive education and consultation as one resource; on the other hand an Wisconsin business incubator nurtures business models exhibiting future development prospects.
What should You do when trying to revive an almost dead idea/product?
Consider grant resources for first-rate suppliers, product designers, and consultants with access points at either national or state levels giving preference to improving transitory inventions many experimental prisms comprising innovating opportunities can prove useful to help extend your products sustainability.
What is per our monitoring one efficiency of government grants?
Government contracts backed by Wisconsin geographical accords enabling stability can confirm long-lasting employee trajectories leaning accord reports once of the ultimate expense-based development projects of funding-based groups in many counties.
My small-business grant item is certified during an annual check session, will I gain funds every time for this business cause?
Multiple grants awarded to small scale industries tell you may not be eligible exactly function on a deal working on specific terms either based on annual, term-wise, cause based or stated financial programs authored by different agencies although errantly start resourcing has the maximum potential of assured suitability.
Are there any small business grants specific to Wisconsin?
Yes, there are several grants available that are specifically targeted at small businesses operating in Wisconsin.
Who provides small business grants in Wisconsin?
Small business grants in Wisconsin can be provided by government agencies, private foundations, nonprofit organizations, and other entities.
How do I apply for small business grants in Wisconsin?
The application process for small business grants in Wisconsin varies depending on the grant and the organization providing it. Typically, you will need to complete an application form and submit additional information, such as a business plan or financial statements.
What types of businesses are eligible for small business grants in Wisconsin?
The eligibility requirements for small business grants in Wisconsin vary depending on the grant. Some grants may target businesses in specific industries or geographical regions, while others may focus on certain business types, such as minority-owned businesses or women-owned businesses.
What is the maximum grant amount available for small businesses in Wisconsin?
The maximum grant amount available for small businesses in Wisconsin varies depending on the grant program. Some programs may award grants up to $50,000, while others may provide smaller grants of $5,000 or less.
Are there any grants available to help fund start-up businesses in Wisconsin?
Yes, there are several grant programs available in Wisconsin that are designed to help fund start-up businesses.
How long does it typically take to receive a grant once I apply?
The timeline for receiving a grant varies depending on the grant program and the organization providing it. Some grant programs may award grants within a few weeks of receiving applications, while others may take several months to make funding decisions.
Can I use a small business grant to pay for any business expenses?
The allowable uses for small business grants vary depending on the grant program. Some grants may be restricted to specific expenses, such as equipment purchases or marketing, while others may be more flexible in their use.
What are the typical application requirements for small business grants in Wisconsin?
The specific application requirements vary depending on the grant program. Common requirements may include a business plan, financial statements, and information on the business’s ownership structure.
Are there any free resources available to help with applying for small business grants in Wisconsin?
Yes, the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center offers free resources and assistance to small business owners looking to apply for grants and other funding opportunities.
Can grants be combined with other types of funding, such as loans or venture capital?
Yes, in some cases small business grants can be combined with other types of funding to help businesses meet their funding needs.
Are there any grants specifically for women-owned businesses in Wisconsin?
Yes, there are several grant programs in Wisconsin that aim to support the development and growth of women-owned businesses.
How important is my small business’s financial history in being approved for a grant?
The importance of a small business’s financial history varies depending on the grant program. Some programs may look at the business’s credit score and financial statements as part of the application process, while others may focus more on the business’s overall mission and goals.
What are the most important factors considered when awarding small business grants?
The most important factors considered in awarding small business grants vary depending on the grant program. Some programs may prioritize businesses in certain industries or those that operate in underserved communities, while others may focus on businesses with innovative ideas or strong potential for growth.
What are the biggest mistakes that small business owners make when applying for grants?
Some common mistakes that small business owners make when applying for grants include failing to properly research the requirements of each grant program and submitting incomplete or inaccurate application materials.
How can I find small business grants specific to my industry in Wisconsin?
One way to find small business grants specific to your industry in Wisconsin is to check with industry associations and trade groups, which may offer their own grant programs.
Can non-profit organizations and social enterprises apply for small business grants in Wisconsin?
Yes, many small business grant programs in Wisconsin are open to non-profit organizations and social enterprises that are working to create positive social impact.
Are small businesses in rural or under-served communities given any priority in getting small business grants in Wisconsin?
Yes, many small business grant programs in Wisconsin give priority to businesses operating in rural or under-served communities.
Is it necessary to hire a professional grant writer to be awarded a small business grant in Wisconsin?
No, hiring a professional grant writer is not necessary to be awarded a small business grant in Wisconsin. However, it may be helpful to seek assistance from an experienced grant writer to improve the quality of your application materials.
Can businesses in any industry apply for small business grants in Wisconsin?
Yes, businesses in a wide variety of industries are eligible to apply for small business grants in Wisconsin, including healthcare, technology, manufacturing, and more.
Can small business grants be used to pay for rent and other operating costs?
The allowable uses for small business grants vary depending on the grant program. Some grants may be specifically targeted at rent and other operating expenses, while others may have more specific restrictions.
Is the application process for small business grants in Wisconsin highly competitive?
Yes, the application process for small business grants in Wisconsin can be highly competitive, especially for programs that award larger grants.
How important is my business plan in being approved for a grant?
A solid business plan is generally considered to be very important in being approved for a small business grant in Wisconsin. This plan should provide a clear vision for your business and its goals.
Is a small business grant considered taxable income by the state of Wisconsin?
It depends on the specific grant program and the amount of the grant. Generally, grant funding is considered taxable income if it is used to cover operating expenses or general business costs. Consult with a tax professional for further guidance.
How often are new small business grant programs launched in Wisconsin?
New small business grant programs in Wisconsin are typically launched on an as-needed basis, depending on available funding and the demand for financial assistance.
Are there any grants for veteran-owned businesses in Wisconsin?
Yes, there are several grant programs in Wisconsin that are specifically targeted at veteran-owned businesses.
Can small business grants be used to pay for marketing and advertising expenses?
The allowable uses for small business grants vary depending on the grant program. Some grants may be specifically targeted at marketing and advertising expenses, while others may fund other types of business expenses.
How likely am I to be awarded a small business grant as an established business as compared to a start-up?
The likelihood of being awarded a small business grant as an established business versus a start-up does not depend on categories, instead grant selection varies based on requirement match by grant providers.
What role does responsible use of my previous small business grant(s) play in receiving new grants?
The responsible use of your previous small business grant(s) could demonstrate your ability to execute the mission of previous grant and it may help gaining positive impact on future grant selections, however it is not a definitive factor.

Also Read

Conclusion

Small business grants can provide valuable funding and support for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses in Wisconsin. By understanding the types of grants available, conducting thorough research, and following best practices for grant applications, you can increase your chances of securing the funding you need to achieve your business goals. Stay encouraged by the competitive nature of grant programs; with persistence and dedication, you can find the right grant opportunity for your Wisconsin small business.

Leave a Comment