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Employer Resources and Advice under COVID-19


Employer Unemployment & Rapid Response Resources

The Rapid Response Team is able to begin working with your company as soon as you provide notice that your company is considering or experiencing temporary or permanent layoffs. We can provide you and your workforce with information and resources to assist both during a difficult transition time.  The first step to obtaining assistance to contact the Rapid Response Coordinator.  For businesses in Milwaukee County, contact Sara Rogers:

For businesses experiencing permanent or temporary layoffs, please click HERE for complete details.

Due to the current COVID-19 virus, online Information Sessions may be available.

Milwaukee Restart Grant Program

The goal of the Milwaukee Restart Program (Restart) is to help local businesses that suffered as a result of the pandemic to reopen and adapt to the "new normal". Restart grants will assist for-profit businesses located in the City of Milwaukee that have 20 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees and greater than $0 but less than $2 million in 2019 revenue. Restart grants shall be limited to one per business owner. All applicants must be current on property taxes owed to the City of Milwaukee up through the 2018 tax bill. Daycares will be eligible if they can demonstrate they have not continued to receive W-2 allocations during the pandemic or federal assistance.

The following business types are not eligible to apply:  gambling or gaming, national franchises, adult establishments, massage parlors, pawn shops, pay day loan or auto loan stores, home-based businesses, not-for-profits, tobacco stores, home-based businesses and liquor stores.

How to apply:

Applications will be accepted between May 28, 2020 and  June 12, 2020. Applications must be made online. The link to the application will be posted to this site by 9:00 AM CDT on May 28, 2020.


Please submit questions in writing to Responses will be sent during normal business hours.

Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Program

DCF is supporting the growing demand for child care access by supporting payment programs for open or temporarily closed child care programs during March 12 – May 25, 2020. There are three payment programs and three application periods as detailed below.

Click here to read more about the Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Program and apply on the department’s website.

Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Emergency Payment Programs

  • Program 1: Funding to Care for Essential Workforce Families
  • Program 2: Incentive Pay
  • Program 3: Support for Temporarily Closed Child Care Programs

Application Periods/Timelines

  • For Period 1 (March 12 - April 11, 2020)
    • Applications open on May 18 and close on May 29, 2020
    • Payment letters will be issued by June 8, 2020
  • For Period 2 (April 12 - May 11, 2020)
    • Applications open on June 8 and close on June 19, 2020
    • Payment letters will be issued by June 29, 2020
  • For Period 3 (May 12 – May 25, 2020, 2-week period)
    • Applications open on June 29 and close on July 10, 2020
    • Payment letters will be issued by July 20, 2020


CARES Act: The Paycheck Protection Program Provides Assistance to Small Businesses

The CARES Act authorized up to $349 billion toward job retention and pay interest on expenses such as mortgage and rent. The funds can be also be used to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including employee benefits.

  • For a top-line overview of the program, click HERE.
  • Borrowers: for more information, click HERE.
  • Lenders: for more information, click HERE.
  • Application for borrowers can be found HERE.


City of Milwaukee COVID-19 Resources for Business: 

This site is a one-stop page that includes quick access links for local, state and federal resources, expanded list of local resources, Kiva loans, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Milwaukee Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (MMAC), Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), toolkits, webinars and more, including Spanish translation.


Small Business Loans

Small Business 20/20 will provide grants of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19).


US Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance

The SBA will soon be providing Wisconsin small business assistance through their disaster loan program. Governor Evers has already submitted the declaration request, and we expect approval very soon. Our office will be sharing the news once the declaration is approved via Facebook and Twitter.

  • To begin preparing your application, small businesses will need:
  • Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T) for the applicant, principals, and affiliates
  • Complete copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return.
  • Schedule of Liabilities (SBA Form 2202)
  • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413)
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Monthly sales figures (SBA Form 1368)

For more on SBA programs for the coronavirus, click HERE

Restaurant Carry Out Zone Program

In an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, on March 16 Governor Tony Evers restricted restaurant service to delivery and carry-out only.  To assist restaurants that currently do not have a "Loading Zone" adjacent to their business, the City of Milwaukee has implemented a temporary program to provide "Restaurant Carryout Zones" (click link and scroll down to the section for information and online application).

Compensation Guidelines During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic


Other Resource Links

Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District (BID 21) - BID 21 has compiled a comprehensive list for businesses and community members.



The Milwaukee Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (MMAC) also has a comprehensive site for businesses, including weekly and daily webinars for large, medium and small businesses.




Employ Milwaukee

2342 North 27th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53210

Phone: (414) 270-1700Fax: (414) 225-2375

Deaf, hearing or speech impaired callers may reach us by the Wisconsin Relay number 711.

Employ Milwaukee is an Equal Opportunity Employer & Service Provider.

Auxiliary Aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request. If you need this material interpreted to a language you understand or in a different format, or need assistance in accessing services, please contact us.

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