U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

Baldwin Successfully Pushes Biden Administration to Support Northern Wisconsin Businesses Hurt by Lack of Winter Snow

Businesses in areas designated by the federal Small Business Administration can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans

By - Feb 21st, 2024 10:17 am

WISCONSIN –U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Governor Tony Evers announced that they successfully pushed the Biden administration to ensure that Northern Wisconsin businesses hurt by this year’s low snowfall can access relief. Baldwin and Evers announced that many Wisconsin businesses may be eligible for a federal disaster loan program if they have suffered losses due to this year’s unusually mild winter, which lacked Wisconsin’s typical snowfall in many areas of the state.

Baldwin and Evers have been advocating for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to confirm this disaster coverage extends to businesses impacted by Wisconsin’s extraordinary winter conditions. Following those conversations, SBA has confirmed that they will consider business loss from recent low snowfalls over the winter months to be related to the drought and eligible for assistance. The lack of snow has impacted travel and recreation businesses that depend on it for activities such as downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

“In Wisconsin, our snowy winters are not just another season, but also a huge economic driver, particularly in the Northern part of the state. This year’s low snowfall has hit many Wisconsin businesses hard and we need to do more to ensure they get some relief,” said Senator Baldwin. “I was happy to partner with Governor Evers to successfully push the Biden administration to ensure Northern Wisconsin businesses impacted by this year’s low snowfall can get the support and help they need.”

“The lack of snow we’ve experienced so far this winter has had serious economic impacts on folks and businesses, especially in our Northern counties, who rely on snow and winter weather to attract customers and be successful,” said Gov. Evers. “In partnership with Sen. Baldwin, my administration has been working with the federal Small Business Administration to ensure businesses in impacted counties are eligible for relief, and I’m glad to announce that our efforts have been successful. I encourage all eligible businesses to apply for these loans as soon as possible, and in the meantime, I encourage Wisconsinites to plan a trip, visit local businesses, and find other exciting ways to enjoy winter in Wisconsin in our beautiful Northern and Central communities.”

Many counties in the state are already covered by a pre-existing disaster designation for drought from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This designation allows businesses in counties identified as drought disaster areas to be eligible for emergency loans to offset their business losses in those counties if their business loss is related to the drought. While Florence, Marinette, and Buffalo counties do not have a current drought designation, nor are they contiguous to any Wisconsin counties with current drought designations, the governor and Sen. Baldwin have worked to secure additional guidance from the SBA since the initial publication of this release, and due to those efforts, these counties are extended the same low snow drought analysis by the SBA.

The National Weather Service reports that snowfall statewide has been 20 to 30 inches below normal this winter. In the Lake Superior snowbelt, generally across Ashland, Iron, and Vilas counties, snowfall was 40 to 70 inches below normal.

Impacted businesses in counties with a drought declaration can apply for the U.S. SBA Economic Impact Disaster Loans (EIDL). The loans are designed to help businesses get through emergency situations that have impacted their economic well-being. Under the EIDL program, businesses can borrow up to $2 million to cover their actual losses. Businesses pay no interest on the loan for the first year and a maximum rate of four percent for the rest of the loan period. In order to take advantage of the program, businesses must apply by the application deadline for their county, listed below.

Businesses may submit applications and find additional disaster assistance information at https://lending.sba.gov. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech-related disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX, 76155. Applicants may also contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation with their EIDL-related questions at EIDLInquiries@wedc.org.

Wisconsin counties may be covered by multiple declarations. The list below provides the latest available application deadline for covered counties.

Apply by April 8
Bayfield
Douglas

Apply by April 15
Sheboygan

Apply by April 29
Buffalo
Burnett
Kenosha
Racine

Apply by May 6
Barron
Brown
Calumet
Chippewa
Clark
Dunn
Eau Claire
Outagamie
Pepin
Pierce
Polk
Rusk
St. Croix
Sawyer
Trempealeau
Washburn
Waupaca
Winnebago

Apply by May 13
Ashland
Langlade
Lincoln
Marathon
Menominee
Oconto
Shawano
Taylor

Apply by May 29
Forest
Iron
Oneida
Price
Vilas

Apply by July 3
Florence
Marinette

Apply by July 31
Adams
Columbia
Crawford
Dane
Dodge
Fond du Lac
Grant
Green
Green Lake
Iowa
Jackson
Jefferson
Juneau
La Crosse
Lafayette
Marquette
Monroe
Portage
Richland
Rock
Sauk
Vernon
Walworth
Washington
Waukesha
Waushara
Wood

An online version of this release is available here.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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