Common Council President Cavalier Johnson
Press Release

Kick-starting our economy starts with helping small minority owned businesses

Statement of Common Council President Cavalier Johnson May 18, 2020

By - May 18th, 2020 04:06 pm

I commend Governor Tony Evers for working to kick-start Wisconsin’s economy by investing in minority owned businesses that have been negatively impacted by the duration and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor’s We’re All In initiative – announced today – will be providing Ethnic Minority Emergency Grants, with $2 million available for ethnically diverse micro-businesses who suffered losses because of the pandemic. The grants are aimed at sole proprietorships or businesses with five or fewer employees that have not received assistance under either SB 20/20 program or SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. One thousand grants of $2,000 each will be administered in partnership with Wisconsin’s 19 ethnic and minority chambers of commerce.

More details are available at

We’re All In will also provide grants in the amount of $2,500 to small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time employees impacted by COVID-19 that have not already received WEDC COVID-19 assistance. Up to 30,000 businesses may receive grants – again very welcome news for the large number of minority owned businesses impacted here in the City of Milwaukee.

The $2,500 cash grants will assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. Grant recipients will become We’re All In businesses by committing to safety protocols and using them in their shops, cafes and places of work to protect their customers, employees, and communities.

More details about the program will be available later this month with businesses able to apply for grant assistance in June.

Small minority owned businesses are part of the fabric of our community and are part of the backbone of our economy. I applaud Governor Evers’ move to help our small businesses get back on their feet and support best practices to keep businesses, consumers, employees and communities safe.

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