Economic Crisis/COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) – Resources for Wisconsin Manufacturers

WMEP Manufacturing Solutions is collecting information resources and other direct assistance to manufacturing businesses. We encourage manufacturers who are feeling the effects of Covid-19 to reach out to local organizations collecting responses (links below) so that resources can be provided. If you have any comments or questions or wish to share steps you are taking within your company, please email John Stampen at [email protected]

One of the best ways to stay up to date on Wisconsin manufacturing news is to subscribe to WMEP Manufacturing Solutions’ monthly newsletter.

November 11th, 2021:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS)to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.

The official document can be found here.

The US SBA recently announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, a federal disaster relief loan designed to support small businesses still reeling from the pandemic. The key changes include: increased loan cap to $2 million, implementation of deferred payment period,  establishment of a 30-day exclusivity window, expansion of eligible use of funds, and simplification of affiliation requirements. Click here to learn more.


WMEP has several programs uniquely designed to assist Manufacturers:

  • Covid-19 Risk Assessment and Mitigation Services Provided by T&M/WMEP
    • The unknown transition process from “isolation” to “open for business” presents numerous challenges to business owners and is most likely not covered in your continuation of operations plan. As essential businesses, manufacturers can reduce the risk of future COVID-19 outbreaks by assessing their current risk and taking actual steps to mitigate these risks.
    • We can help you identify and manage COVID-19 risks to protect your employees, their families, clientele and your communities.
  • Improving Cash Flow: Discover2Recover – CARES Act
    • Under the CARES Act, WMEP Manufacturing Solutions has been awarded a grant to help small and mid-size manufacturers analyze their current situation and take advantage of proprietary financial and business tools and expertise available under this program.
  • Growing Sales:
    • Many existing customers are delaying, reducing or cancelling purchases, which leads many companies to recognize the need to diversify and find new markets.
  • Prioritizing Activities to Protect Profits:
    • COVID-19 and the related Economic Crisis presents new risks for organization and amplifies existing risks. WMEP has partnered with T&M to put together solutions that are designed to reduce and manage risks associated with COVID-19.
    • Workforce retention and engagement is another key organization risk, and front-line leader skills are crucial to both.
  • Getting Cost Out of Your Business:
    • When revenue is down, managing costs becomes more important.  Reducing waste and improving productivity becomes essential.

CDC Guidance for Manufacturing Workers & Employers

As of April 21st, 2021 there is a New Tax Credit to Fully Offset the Cost for Small Businesses Who Provide Paid Leave for Employees to Get Vaccinated:

President Biden is calling on employers across America to do everything they can to help their employees – and their communities – get vaccinated. As part of that effort, President Biden is calling on every employer in America to offer full pay to their employees for any time off needed to get vaccinated and for any time it takes to recover from the after-effects of vaccination.

A tax credit for small and medium-sized businesses to fully offset the cost of paid leave for employees to get vaccinated and recover from any after-effects of vaccination. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides a paid leave tax credit to offset the cost for businesses with fewer than 500 employees for up to 80 hours (i.e. 10 work days) up to $511 per day of paid sick leave offered between April 1 and September 30, 2021. This tax credit will allow employers to provide paid leave for employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination and for any time their employees may need to recover from that vaccination at no cost to the employer. The Internal Revenue Service released and posted a fact sheet to educate employers on how to claim the paid sick leave credit on their quarterly tax filings. For more details on how the paid leave tax credits from the American Rescue Plan will work for employers to enable employees to get vaccinated and recover from after-effects of vaccination, as well as for other purposes, please consult this snapshot from the Department of the Treasury.

A call for employers to take additional steps to help get their employees and communities vaccinated. President Biden is also calling on employers to use their unique resources to provide information about how people can get vaccinated and why people should get vaccinated. Consistent with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “We Can Do This” national campaign, he is also calling on employers to make commitments to provide accurate and timely information and incentivize all Americans to get vaccinated. These commitments could include discounts for vaccinated individuals, product giveaways or brand rewards, messaging in-store, point-of purchase promotions, direct outreach to customers, or public service announcements about the importance of vaccinations. Employers who wish to make a commitment to get their employees and communities vaccinated should do so here.

Providing paid time off for vaccinations is an investment in the safety, productivity and health of an employer’s own workforce and their community. No working person in this country should lose a single dollar from their paycheck to take time to get the shot or recover from it. The paid leave tax credit that President Biden signed into the law in the American Rescue Plan ensures that no small businesses or nonprofits will lose a single dollar by providing such paid leave to workers receiving a vaccination.

Building on the IRS release and the American Rescue Plan’s provisions, the Administration is committed to expanding paid leave more generally. That’s why the tax credit in the American Rescue Plan will enable employers with fewer than 500 employees to claim up to $17,110 for 14 weeks of paid leave for each impacted employee not only to get vaccinated, but also to take time off if they have COVID-19 symptoms and are going to the doctor, getting tested for COVID-19, under quarantine or isolation order by the government or a doctor (or are caring for someone who is), or have to care for a child whose school or child care provider closed due to COVID-19.

Paid leave has been shown to be a critical tool for stopping the spread of COVID-19, including one study that showed that the paid leave provisions put in place last year prevented approximately 400 COVID-19 cases per day and prevented one COVID-19 case per day per 1,300 workers. And, it will be a critical component of ensuring that Americans can reenter or stay in the workforce as we continue to fight the virus and recover from the economic effects of COVID-19.

From our partners at WEDC:

BLOG: Video explores how employers can support the vaccination effort—and why they should

Vaccines will help bring the pandemic to an end and aid economic recovery, and employers are a trusted source of information for their workers—so businesses play a key role in the vaccination effort. Read More

In a series focused on how employers can help build public support for COVID-19 vaccines, the second episode contains insights from employment and disability law to make sure that employers’ communications and practices do not violate employee medical rights and protections. Read More


Wisconsin businesses look forward to a future when they can return to providing the products and services their customers need and crave, unencumbered by threats to the health of their employees and those they serve. Working toward that future will require the gradual adoption of new business practices that reflect the evolving reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and our success in mitigating the effects of this unprecedented global health emergency.

With input from national and state health and industry experts and in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and our regional economic development partners, WEDC has compiled a series of industry-specific documents to help you get back to business while taking the necessary precautions to maximize safety. Following these guidelines will help us all get Wisconsin’s economy back on track.

WMEP Manufacturing Solutions has replicated information posted on the website to increase accessibility to this valuable information.
While the complete list has been replicated at the bottom of this page, WMEP has duplicated the categories most closely aligned with Wisconsin Manufacturers and placed them at the top of this list.


Every business can act now to develop policies that will guard against workplace exposure to COVID-19 by protecting employees, educating customers and keeping your workplace safe and sanitary.


Many manufacturers have remained open due to the essential nature of their products; others can learn from these companies’ experiences by following best practices for ramping up operations.


Wisconsin’s rich agricultural history contributes to fabric of our rural communities, which have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing and evolving operations in the face of a global health emergency is possible with safety top of mind.


Although public transportation usage has dropped, some essential workers must still use it, and it will need to be ready to safely restore full service when the time comes. Meanwhile, cargo transportation carries on, and both types must adapt to the challenges posed by social distancing requirements.


Warehouses and wholesale suppliers play an important role in connecting Wisconsin businesses and customers with the parts and supplies they need.

COVID-19 Business Resources:

WEDC Services:

State of Wisconsin Resources:

  • Coronavirus Information for Partners
    • Answers to frequently asked questions by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
  • COVID-19: How we can help businesses
    • The Small Business Development Center-Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship has created a page with important information for its clients amid quickly changing conditions and unprecedented measures put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance
    • The Wisconsin SBDC, a resource partner of the SBA, has created a web page to help business owners understand the qualifications and application process for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Consultants across the network’s 13 locations are working remotely via phone, email and virtual tools to assist clients.
  • Wisconsin Farm Support Program
    • The Wisconsin Farm Support Program, administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, is a federally funded program that will provide $50 million of relief to farmers that suffered economic damages in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual payments will range from $1,000-$3,500. Wisconsin farmers with gross income between $35,000 and $5,000,000 in 2019 may be eligible to receive a payment. The application period for this funding runs from June 15 through June 29.
  • Wisconsin Department of Revenue
    • The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is providing immediate help for small businesses on sales taxes and taking other steps to help taxpayers in response to COVID-19.

Federal Resources:

  • Coronavirus Tax Relief
    • The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.
  • Coronavirus Resources
    • The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus (also known as novel coronavirus).
  • Coronavirus: Resources, Updates, and What You Should Know
    • The U.S. Treasury Department is supporting American workers and businesses who are impacted by the coronavirus.
  • Defense Production Act
    • In response to the COVID-19 global crisis, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is seeking to strengthen and restore domestic industrial base capabilities through the Defense Production Act (DPA). Projects eligible for a DFC-DPA Loan are those that create, maintain, protect, expand or restore domestic industrial base capabilities supporting: The national response and recover to the COVID-19 outbreak; or The resiliency of any relevant domestic supply chains.
  • Export Import Bank of the United States (EXIM)
    • The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has announced a series of initiatives to inject liquidity into the market and give maximum financing flexibility to facilitate sales of U.S. goods and services abroad.
  • Main Street Lending Program
    • The Federal Reserve established the Main Street Lending Program to enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis by offering 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
    • USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Other Resources:

  • Brew City Match has developed two tools to ease the financial burden for small business owners:
    • The Brew City Match COVID-19 Small Business Grant that provides up to $1,200 to assist small businesses with rent and payroll support.
    • The Brew City Match COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Loan Fund that provides zero interest loans to small businesses to assist with rent, payroll, and additional business expenses.
  • Coronavirus Resources for Municipalities
    • The Wisconsin League of Municipalities’ COVID-19 page contains information that will help you navigate the pandemic.
  • Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Emergency Loan Fund
    • The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC) has announced a new Emergency Loan Fund (COVID-19) in response to the negative impact that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the Wisconsin business community. These funds are primarily used for working capital to cover rent, payroll, and other fixed expenses. This loan fund is similar to HWCC’s existing Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Small Loan programs but with a slightly lower rate and an interest-only option for the first 3 months. Loans from $5,000 and up to $10,000. For more information about terms and interest rates, please contact HWCC Operations Manager, Ger Thao: [email protected].
  • Wisconsin Emergency Response Program
    • gener8tor is hosting emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs will feature daily webinars designed to identify, understand and help small businesses secure resources to withstand the current crisis. One-on-one office hours will also be available.
  • Kiva Loans
    • Kiva has expanded small business lending on its online platform to include a larger list of eligible businesses, the possibility for larger loans, and a grace period for repayment.  Learn more here (or visit the dedicated pages for applicants in Milwaukee or applicants in Madison).
    • Small business owners affiliated with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, and the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce can contact these chambers directly for assistance.
  • LISC Small Business Relief Grants
    • Thanks to support from funders like Verizon and Sam’s Club, LISC is providing grants to small businesses to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period.
  • The Red Backpack Fund
    • GlobalGiving will be making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance – The following organizations stand ready to help their clients apply for this federal aid:
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Save Small Business Fund
    • The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories.
  • Wisconsin Humanities Council
    • The Wisconsin Humanities Council is providing rapid-response funding to nonprofit humanities and cultural organizations that are facing financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  • WWBIC Classes
    • WWBIC has moved all its business and financial educational programming on-line and on-demand.


Wisconsin’s rich agricultural history contributes to fabric of our rural communities, which have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing and evolving operations in the face of a global health emergency is possible with safety top of mind.


The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families provides guidance to childcare providers to safely return to the critical role they play in protecting and educating children in nurturing environments.


Education, team building and safety are important cultural touchstones of the construction industry. COVID-19 adds a new layer to construction site safety protocols.


Businesses dedicated to our enjoyment and social interaction are challenged by the limitations now placed on togetherness. When it is safe to reopen entertainment venues, protecting the health of employees and patrons will require operational adaptation.


These establishments, which provide an important outlet for people seeking to improve their health and wellbeing, and will need to implement new employee training, enforce physical distancing and adopt appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures to minimize exposure to and spread of COVID-19.


As Wisconsin’s lodging industry recovers from the impact of COVID-19, these businesses play a crucial role in preventing the spread of the virus, and must follow the most current guidelines for cleaning and disinfection.


Many manufacturers have remained open due to the essential nature of their products; others can learn from these companies’ experiences by following best practices for ramping up operations.


Celebrating our state’s natural beauty and seasonal splendor brings people together in outdoor gatherings in public spaces which must now be adapted to accommodate smaller groups and new limitations on interaction between participants.


As outdoor enthusiasts look to take advantage of Wisconsin’s peak recreation season, it is critical for businesses in this industry to adopt the safety measures necessary to provide peace of mind and ensure the health of Wisconsinites and visitors seeking relaxation and adventure.


The close personal contact required in personal service situations such as hair and nail salons makes it especially challenging yet critically important to accommodate the necessary social distancing and sanitation as these businesses serve their customers and communities.


Reopening commercial spaces occupied by professional service providers requires rethinking workspaces, customer traffic, delivery procedures and facility management practices.


Safe use of indoor public facilities is important for the provision of social services and fostering a supportive social network in our communities.


Safely reopening Wisconsin’s celebrated shared dining spaces requires a conscientious shift in operations in order to balance our culinary and social traditions with new health and safety concerns.


Wisconsin’s retail sector must adapt to social distancing requirements while continuing to provide goods and experiences that enhance quality of life, create a unique sense of place and attract visitors to our communities.


The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has provided guidance when and how best to reopen public pools and other water-based entertainment venues.


Although public transportation usage has dropped, some essential workers must still use it, and it will need to be ready to safely restore full service when the time comes. Meanwhile, cargo transportation carries on, and both types must adapt to the challenges posed by social distancing requirements.


Warehouses and wholesale suppliers play an important role in connecting Wisconsin businesses and customers with the parts and supplies they need.
The WEDC team and WMEP Manufacturing Solutions make every effort to ensure our website’s content is always up to date. However, out-of-date references may occur as guidelines change, and WEDC and WMEP reserves the right to alter this and other webpages on an ongoing basis. To ensure you are referencing the most up-to-date program guidelines, please contact your WEDC account manager or WMEP Manufacturing Solutions.