Updated 10/7/2020 - 5:00 p.m.
As we move toward reopening our economy, we know that businesses want to take the steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of their workers and customers. Below are some resources you can consult for examples of reopening procedures and protocols that will help you develop and update your re-opening plan.
Dane County Public Health - Forward Dane Guidelines for Phased Re-Opening
Wisconsin Safety Council (Returning to Work)
To inquire about Fitchburg specific challenges or opportunities for re-opening, expanding or adapting your business please contact:
President/CEO, Fitchburg Chamber of Commerce - 608-288-8284
Economic Development Director, City of Fitchburg - 608-270-4245
There is a lot of information on how to travel safely to our area. You can travel safely, with some precautions taken. Click here for some frequently asked questions on travel.
The City of Fitchburg, CEDA, and the FCVBB are pleased to announce the Forward Fitchburg Biz Boost Loan Program that is available to our small businesses with up to 25 employees. The intent of this loan program is to assist our local businesses with the costs associated with relaunching their businesses per the necessary health and safety protocols detailed in the Forward Dane Reopening Plan. This 30 month loan program provides six months no payments no interest followed by 24 equal monthly payments starting in January of 2021 with one percent interest annually. Click here to access information on the Forward Fitchburg Biz Boost Loan Program and application materials. The deadline to apply is the 15th of every month, through December 2020.
In order to accelerate their recovery while following the Dane County Public Health requirements during the reopening phases of Forward Dane, the City of Fitchburg is making available a temporary expanded outdoor premise application process to accommodate seating modifications needed for spacing and social distancing. Access the guidelines for consideration of a temporary change of premise to allow expanded outdoor seating due to COVID-19 here.
For applications received by Monday, June 1st at 10:00 a.m. the Fitchburg Common Council will consider those applications for conditional approval, subject to a site visit by City staff team, at a special meeting Tuesday evening June 2nd.
WI Department of Workforce Development - Frequently asked questions that relate to DWD’s services, information and resources for businesses, individuals and organizations, including Unemployment Compensation.
- Loans are available for up to $2 million.
- These loans can provide working capital to meet the needs of payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments until the situation improves.
- Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
- Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call 800-877-8339
- EIDL Frequently Asked Questions
Payroll Protection Program
The Payroll Protection Program is now available thru your local lender. We encourage you to contact your local bank to apply. You can view more information about the program and view application here.
The CDC interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. (CDC has provided separate guidance for healthcare settings.) This guidance also provides planning considerations for community spread of COVID-19.
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United has compiled a list of national and city/state resources and assistance available to restaurant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Dept. of Labor released OSHA’s “Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus” poster in 13 languages. The additional translations are OSHA’s latest effort to educate and protect America’s workers and employers. You can access the additional translations here.
OSHA has also published Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, its guidance aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.
- Technology innovation to address COVID-19 impacts on health: Innovations targeted at combating the impact of the virus on health. This could be safety equipment, detection and testing technology, treatment or prevention medicines, medical devices and equipment, or any other innovations related to the health and medical side of the pandemic.
- Technology innovation to address COVID-19 impacts on businesses: Innovations intended to address the business and economic impacts of COVID-19. These innovations could be software for remote work and education, new products to meet demand created by social distancing, tools to allow businesses to operate more efficiently under safer practices, new e-commerce solutions for traditionally brick and mortar businesses, and other innovations that help businesses and the economy through these challenging times. If you have a new technology related to COVID and it is not focused on health impacts, this is your category.
- Service and business operation innovations to respond to COVID-19 disruption: Businesses of all shapes and sizes have had to adjust how they do business during the pandemic. Many have come up with creative solutions to continue their business while others have pivoted to entirely new products and services. Innovations in this category could be a sit-down restaurant adjusting to takeout and delivery, a retail shop increasing its online presence, a service business finding new ways to meet with clients, or any other business model pivot that allows your business to survive and even thrive during the pandemic.
Gov. Tony Evers announced an additional $100 million in investments for Wisconsin small businesses and economic stabilization. These funds will provide support for the lodging and tourism industry, live music and performance venues, cultural non-profits, and privately owned movie theaters. Included in the new investments:
Over $50 million of $5,000 We're All In Grants to more than 10,000 Wisconsin small businesses. Applications will be accepted between 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 19 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 2.
These applications are not currently open, but details will be provided by respective agencies when available:
- $20 million for the Wisconsin lodging industry.
- $15 million for live music and performance venues throughout Wisconsin.
- $10 million to support privately owned movie theaters.
- $10 million in additional support for non-profit cultural venues.
- $4 million in additional investments for destination marketing organizations and tourism drivers, bringing the total investment by the Evers Administration to $12 million.
There are several Covid-19 testing options in the Fitchburg and Madison area. See the list below for five testing options:
- Your healthcare provider. If you have health insurance, we recommend contacting your healthcare provider to see if they are able to test you.
- Alliant Energy Center. This community testing site is open Monday through Saturday for people ages 5 and older.
- UW-Madison. UW-Madison has testing available on campus for students and staff members.
- South Madison Community Test Site. This community testing site is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for people ages 5 and older.
- Community Pop-Ups. Some community test sites operate for just a day or two and are embedded in neighborhoods to make testing more accessible for everyone.
Visit Public Health Madison & Dane County for more information on your testing options.
The Department of Financial Institutions has authorized remote online notarization due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online notarizations can only take place using regulated providers. There are four regulated providers at this time: Notarize.com and NotaryCam for the public, and Pavaso and Nexsys for title companies and real estate transactions. The online notarization is still subject to several safeguards through those providers to ensure the integrity of the process.
Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadRep) has published a list of business resources available for Dane County. The list will be updated on a continual basis as new information becomes available.
The Latino Consortium for Action has announced the creation of a new Emergency Relief Fund which will benefit those most affected by COVID-19 in the Latinx community. The fund will prioritize funding emergency relief for our most vulnerable populations: undocumented Latinx workers and small immigrant-owned businesses. Click here for details on fund management, eligibility and ways to donate.
As part of the Wisconsin Ready action plan to support businesses to operate safely, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is working with partners across the state to identify manufacturers that can supply personal protective equipment and other materials.
CLICK HERE for a list of where to purchase personal protective equipment.
Gov. Tony Evers today announced the launch of the “Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants” program, a $200 million effort aimed at helping local leaders address some of their most urgent and unique COVID-19 recovery needs. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), Routes to Recovery Grants will be allocated to every Wisconsin county, city, village, town and federally recognized tribe.
The effort is funded by $200 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars and will be administered by the DOA. Of the $200 million, $10 million will be allocated to Wisconsin’s tribal nations, with the remaining funds being distributed to every Wisconsin county, city, village and town.
Routes to Recovery Grants for Wisconsin counties, cities, villages and towns will provide reimbursements for unbudgeted expenditures incurred this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the following categories:
- Emergency operations activities, including those related to public health, emergency services, and public safety response
- Purchases of personal protective equipment
- Cleaning/sanitizing supplies and services, including those related to elections administration
- Temporary isolation housing for infected or at-risk individuals
- Testing and contact tracing costs above those covered by existing State programs
- FMLA and sick leave for public health and safety employees to take COVID-19 precautions
- Meeting local match requirements for expenses submitted for reimbursement by FEMA, to the extent allowed by federal law
More information regarding the Routes to Recovery Grants, including the allocation amounts for counties and municipalities, is available here.
The Senior Center has cancelled all programs starting Monday, March 16, 2020. Home delivered meals will continue.
You can find many senior center resources online, including health and wellness classes, critical needs assessment forms and information on drive up fundraising events.
Call (608) 270-4290 with questions.
The Fitchburg Public Library is now offering same day curbside pickup services. To schedule a pick-up, please call 608-729-1790. Please have specific titles ready when calling. Pick-up and call in hours are limited. Please visit the library website for more details.
As of March 19th, Badger Prairie Needs Network (BPNN) will offer drive-up distribution of pre-packed bags of foods. Pantry guests will be instructed to remain in line in their cars until they reach the front of the line, and only exit their car when guided through registration and food pickup by a volunteer. When picking up food, do not bring children or extra guests with you. Only one person will be allowed to enter the building to register. All guests must provide an ID for the head of the household and new pantry shoppers should bring an ID for the head of the household and a document showing residence (example: utility bill).
For those who want to help: BPNN are temporarily pausing donations of food. If you are looking to help, and are able, please consider a monetary donation or signing up as a volunteer.
BPNN has temporarily expanded their service area to include all of Fitchburg for the duration of curbside distribution at the food pantry. If you hear of any households needing assistance, please have them call 2-1-1 or check out BPNN on Facebook online, or call at 608-848-2499.
Starting April 1 (and through the crisis) household may visit BPNN for food assistance 2 times each calendar month.
The River Food Pantry will not allow shoppers inside of the facility. Instead, prepared boxes of groceries will be available for pick up curbside. The curbside pick-up distribution hours will be Tuesday–Friday from 10:00am–3:00pm.
FAM (Family At-home Meals): Tuesday-Friday, FAM meals will be available when you pick up curbside groceries. These are free, healthy, ready-to-eat meals. See the schedule here.
MUNCH mobile lunch program six days a week: MUNCH will deliver pre-bagged lunches Monday–Saturday to children in the standard neighborhoods, as well as Kennedy Heights. See the schedule here.
Dane County COVID-19 Emergency And Recovery Fund Fund will address the needs of the community that arise as a result of the COVID-19 emergency in Dane County. U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are not classified as private foundations and faith-based organizations that welcome and serve all members of the community regardless of religious belief are eligible for funds.
The United Way of Dane County runs a free information service designed to connect those in need with service providers; including those looking for an emergency food resource. Just dial 211 on your phone, give them your zip code, and they will tell you where the nearest emergency food provider.
City buildings remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit the city website.
Find the latest news on COVID-19 in Dane County at publichealthmdc.com
Get ongoing updates on the disease, how it is spread, where it exists and testing.
Please contact us if you would like us to share information about your business' changing operations and services due to the COVID-19 outbreak.