Gov. Evers announces $45 million for struggling restaurants

The service industry has been hit hard by the pandemic
Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 7:16 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Governor Tony Evers announced Thursday morning $45 million in assistance for restaurants and other small businesses affected by the pandemic.

The program is called “We’re All In For Restaurants” and the governor says the goal is help out gathering places that are “incredibly important employers and community members”.

“Restaurants and other venues have been among the businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Evers said. “They’ve made the tough decisions to keep employees and customers safe by restricting indoor seating, offering delivery and curbside pick-up, and providing outdoor tables. We greatly appreciate the changes they’ve made to prioritize the health and safety of our communities, but now with winter coming, we are glad to provide this support at a critical time.”

Gov. Evers says businesses will not have to apply for the grants. The Department of Revenue (DOR) will identify and contact businesses directly based on state tax records.

“We have all the systems in place to quickly disburse funding to these businesses who need it to get through the coming winter months. Our staff is ready to assist, and I am pleased we are able to help,” said DOR Secretary Peter Barca.

The DOR estimates that about 2,000 restaurants will receive 95% of the money. The program will also target businesses with annual revenues of more than $1 million and less than $7 million.

In a statement Thursday morning, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) offered his appreciation to the Evers Administration for helping the hospitality industry, which he pointed out has been hard hit by the pandemic and the associated safety precautions, including social distancing and gathering caps.

“These establishments are important fixtures in our communities and I’m pleased that federal dollars are going to help them through these difficult times,” he continued.

The Speaker also pointed to the recently released GOP COVID-19 response plan in the Assembly, which includes proposed grants for the the industry. Vos’ Republican counterpart in the Senate, Maj. Leader Devin Lemahieu, said Wednesday that his chamber would not meet to consider the COVID-19 proposals until at least next year.

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