Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

14 Resources to Help You During the Pandemic

The shutdown is hurting everyone, these resources are for small businesses and residents.

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Document. (CC0 Public Domain).

Document. (CC0 Public Domain).

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many strapped for cash. Everyone from business owners to families to artists is feeling the economic effects.

But not all hope is lost.

Groups and organizations throughout Milwaukee and the country are offering financial support and resources to help individuals and families pull through. Here is a list of groups offering assistance.


Businesses:

U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest disaster loans to help businesses struggling during this time. If a business has experienced economic hardship, it can apply for Disaster Loan Assistance.

Hmong Chamber of Commerce

The Hmong Chamber of Commerce is offering an emergency loan fund in response to COVID-19. Small businesses can apply for a loan starting at $5,000 and up to $10,000. The business is required to have existed for a minimum of two years and be located in a low to moderate income tract or be a minority-owned business in Wisconsin. Once the application is complete, the business owner can send it and the other requirements to Yuli Her, the development coordinator, at yuli@hmongchamber.org.

Brew City Match

Brew City Match is offering a grant for up to $1,200 to help small businesses cover rent and payroll. It also has a Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to help cover rent, payroll and other expenses. Any business within the program area is eligible to apply for either the grant or the loan. The application fee for the is $100. To apply for either, click here.


Energy/Utilities/Mortgage:

Community Advocates

Community Advocates is available by phone for Milwaukee residents seeking assistance with energy assistance, FSET and Housing and Disability Services. To receive energy assistance, individuals are asked to call (414) 270-4653 to schedule an appointment. For general assistance call (414) 270-2941.

We Energies

WEC Energy Group, which manages We Energies, recently stated that it will not disconnect service to any residential customers at this time. If someone is struggling to pay his or her bills, he or she is asked to contact WEC Energy Group to arrange a payment plan. To reach customer service, people in residential areas can call 800-242-9137.

Take Root Milwaukee

In response to COVID-19, many banks, credit unions and mortgage holding companies have created customer assistance programs, which allow a borrower to suspend his or her mortgage payment for up to 180 days. Take Root Milwaukee noted that in some cases it is up to the borrower to contact his or her servicer to request a payment plan. The organization has created a list of banks and other servicers’ contact information. Visit the Take Root Milwaukee website or call (414) 921-4149 for assistance.


Artists:

Arts Wisconsin

Arts Wisconsin has compiled a list of resources for artists. The list includes relief funds as well as opportunities for visual artists to partner with organizations and share their craft.

Imagine MKE

Imagine MKE is raising money for the MKE Artist Relief Fund, which will benefit Milwaukee-based artists. Artists can apply for up to $500. While applications are currently closed, they will reopen once more funds are available.


Food

Hunger Task Force

Hunger Task Force has created an interactive map to help individuals and families find the food sites closest to them.

Feeding America

Feeding America continues to work with food banks across the country. Use the pantry locator to find the pantry closest to you. Some food sites have changed their hours or are offering drive-through only to minimize the spread of COVID-19.


General assistance:

IMPACT 2-1-1

Impact 2-1-1 acts as a starting point and connects individuals to services. Individuals can call 2-1-1 or text his or her ZIP code to TXT-211 [898-211].

United Way

United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County launched a COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund to helps its partners, which serve those in need. If an individual needs assistance he or she is encouraged to call 2-1-1.


Unemployment benefits:

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act employers must provide employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19. Not all employers fall under the act. For additional information, individuals can call 1-866-487-9243 or go to the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Department of Workforce Development

Individuals who are temporarily out of work can apply for unemployment benefits. The benefits application can be found through the Department of Workforce Development.

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

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