Commerce offers financing programs to meet a variety of business
needs. Programs can be categorized in four distinct areas: Entrepreneurial
Development, Capital Finance, Technology Development, and Employee
Training. Contact the
ADM in your region for more information on these programs.
You can also find information on Commerce business finance programs
by choosing Business on the home page at www.commerce.state.wi.us.
In recognition of the importance of a sound business plan, Commerce
offers an Early Planning Grant (EPG) program that provides grants
to entrepreneurs and small businesses to help offset a portion
of the cost of hiring an independent third party to develop a
comprehensive business plan.
For entrepreneurs that would rather prepare their business plan
in a more formal setting. Commerce also offers the Entrepreneurial
Training Grant (ETG) program. Under this program, applicants are
provided with a grant to cover up to 75 percent of the tuition
costs associated with enrolling in an approved course at their
local UW-Extension Small Business Development Center (SBDC). This
program represents a partnership between the SBDC and Commerce
and was developed in recognition of the need to support all types
of entrepreneurial development. Participants will be provided
instruction on how to prepare a comprehensive business plan. The
goal is for participants to "graduate" with a professional
plan that can be used to pursue start-up capital.
Commerce's capital finance programs offer below-market-rate financing
(typically 4 percent) to businesses that are willing to make a
firm commitment to invest in Wisconsin. Notwithstanding the attractiveness
of the interest rate, it should be noted that Commerce is not
a primary lender. In fact, given its limited financial resources,
Commerce works closely with eligible businesses and their private
sector lenders to minimize the amount of public funds necessary
to make a project go forward. Commerce also administers tax-credit
and industrial revenue bond programs to assist capital expansion
Commerce recognizes the need for Wisconsin businesses to stay
on the forefront of technological innovation. To assist in this
process, Commerce offers a Technology Development program that
is designed to assist businesses and entrepreneurs that are researching
new technologies, products or manufacturing processes that, if
successful, could have a significant impact upon Wisconsin's economy.
This loan program is designed as a cost-sharing program with flexible
repayment terms that are keyed to the success of the particular
research project. Technology companies can also earn tax credits
by starting up, expanding or locating in one of Wisconsinís eight
In keeping with Commerce's long held belief that Wisconsinís
most important asset is its people, Commerce offers training programs
that are designed to enhance the skills and abilities of its workforce.
Offered in the form of a matching grant, the Customized Labor
Training program has historically been driven by a company's commitment
to reinvest in new technologies that necessitate the need for
training. In addition to the CLT program, Commerce also offers
the BEST Program, which is specifically designed to meet the wide
variety of training needs of Wisconsin's small businesses.
The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.
Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.