This is the second and final part of the two part series identifying and describing the helpful resources available to American small business owners. In last month’s entry, we explored the publicly available resources at the federal level, primarily the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In this entry, we will focus on small business resources available at the state level – local organizations that support local industry.
Being a middle-sized state mostly comprised of rural towns, suburbs, and small cities, small business is critical to Wisconsin’s economic prosperity. It is then no surprise that there is a very long list of Wisconsin-based organizations which offer specialized support for local small businesses. Examples include Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. Let’s individually explore each of the examples, identify what they do, and how they uplift Wisconsin’s small business sector.
- Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center maintains a network of 14 locations across the state. The SBDC facilitates access to expert consultants and investors that can help you launch and maintain a small business. Furthermore, they work to grow small businesses by providing education and training (in finances, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, etc.), networking with organizations that serve to improve small businesses (such as Digital Marketing Clinic) and offering a wide variety of tailored services through initiatives (farm business, food/restaurant business, global trade facilitation).
- Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation assists small businesses both financially and operationally. WEDC facilitates grants of up to $10,000 to help small businesses manage and improve new or existing properties. Additionally, WEDC provides financial and technical support for small businesses to make use of ExporTech™, which provides access to coaching and consulting for the development of an international growth and export strategy. WEDC also provides visibility to small businesses, publishing success stories directly on their website.
- Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is a government program that provides access to various resources such as low or no-cost training, worker classification help, no-cost services that help build workplace diversity and recruit qualified disabled workers, new hire reporting, as well as insurance and tax credits.
- Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation
The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation provides financial education, fair loans for business development ranging from $1,000 to $250,000 dollars, and quality one-on-one consulting in order to empower entrepreneurs to launch or strengthen their small business. The organization makes their services available to all, but focuses primarily on women, people of color, and people of lower wealth.
Take the time to deep-dive into everything these organizations offer. Small businesses are the cornerstone of Wisconsin’s economy, and it is highly advisable that small business owners make use of all of the resources that exist to support them.
“Department of Workforce Development” [Website]. Available at: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/business/ [Accessed Apr 27, 2022]
“Wisconsin Small Business Development Center” [Website]. Available at: https://wisconsinsbdc.org/ [Accessed Apr 27, 2022]
“Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation” [Website]. Available at: https://wedc.org/smallbusiness/ [Accessed Apr 27, 2022]
“Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation” [Website]. Available at: https://www.wwbic.com/ [Accessed Apr 27, 2022]