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Milwaukee Restart Grant Program

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The goal of the Milwaukee Restart Program (Restart) is to help local businesses that suffered as a result of the pandemic to reopen and adapt to the “new normal”


Restart grants will assist for-profit businesses located in the City of Milwaukee that have 20 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees and greater than $0 but less than $2 million in 2019 revenue. Restart grants shall be limited to one per business owner. All applicants must be current on property taxes owed to the City of Milwaukee up through the 2018 tax bill.

For-profit Daycares will be eligible if they can demonstrate they have not continued to receive W-2 allocations during the pandemic or federal assistance.

The following business types are NOT eligible to apply:
gambling or gaming, national franchises, adult establishments, massage parlors, pawn shops, pay day loan or auto loan stores, home-based businesses, not-for-profits, tobacco stores, home-based businesses and liquor stores

Eligible Expenditures

Businesses may apply for the following expenses associated with re-starting business operations:

  • Personal Protective Equipment for employees (Limit of $100 per FTE; maximum of $2,000.00)
  • Modifications to business space and operations to adapt to COVID-19 pandemic (Limit of $3 per square foot of business storefront space; maximum of $7,500.00)
  • Restock of perishable inventory (Limited to $7,500.00; purchase of alcoholic beverages shall not exceed 25% or $1,875.00)

These calculations are provided to assist applicants to understand the maximum amount allowed. However, please note that final allocations will depend on available funding and demand for the program.

How to apply

As part of the application process, applicants are required to upload electronic versions of these documents:

  • Tax Return and K-1s for the business for the most recently completed year, or company-prepared Financial Statements for 2019
  • Documentation indicating the number of employees who worked during 2019 (Form 941, payroll report, etc.)
  • A current W9 form Rev. Version 2018
  • Photos of the interior and exterior of the business
  • Plan for spending the grant for the eligible expenses, including estimated amounts and descriptions of the expenditures

Applications must be made online between 9:00 AM CDT on May 28, 2020 and will be accepting applications until 5:00 PM CDT on June 12, 2020. Applicants will need to create an account to apply. This will allow users to save progress on their applications should they need additional time to fill out the application. Please make sure to keep a note of your user name and password. Click here for the Milwaukee Restart Application.

Grant Follow Up 

All businesses receiving Restart assistance will be required to complete a follow-up survey after the grant is awarded. Grant recipients must keep detailed records on reopening dates, receipts for expenditure of grant funds, and staff and payroll records.

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