MADISON – In it’s first phase of We’re All In small business grants, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has approved grants totaling $40.7 million to almost 16,300 businesses throughout the state.

The economic development network has already disbursed more than $27.4 million to nearly 11,000 businesses; the organization is processing an additional $13.3 million to more than 5,300 businesses, WEDC said this week in a news release. In the second phase, which is under way, WEDC is working with the remaining roughly 14,000 businesses to gather additional information about their applications to help them qualify for the grants.

“The idea behind the We’re All In grants was to get much-needed funds into the hands of small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible,” WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said in a news release. “We have learned from the applicants that, in many cases, these grants are really helping them to keep the lights on.”     

The program was established to provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 small businesses, for a total of $75 million in funds disbursed. The grants will help small businesses with the costs of business interruption or health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.

The grants targeted businesses with up to 20 full-time employees that were in business by January 2020 with total annual revenues of up to $1 million.