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COVID-19 Lending Resources for Businesses


Gov. Tony Evers’ administration recently announced a plan to disburse $50 million in federal CARES Act funding to Wisconsin farmers to help make up for financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

WHAT: The Wisconsin Farm Support Program will provide direct payments to farmers with between $35,000 and $5 million in gross farm income on their 2019 tax filing. Payments will range from $1,000 to $3,500 depending on income level. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is managing the application process. 

WHEN: Farmers can only apply between June 15 and June 29. Payments will be issued after this period. We encourage farmers to apply as soon as possible on or after June 15 to leave time for resolving any potential issues in their application.

HOW: The application form will be available online at beginning June 15. Farmers who cannot apply online may request assistance by calling 608-266-2772.

If you think your farm will qualify, we encourage you to apply immediately on June 15!


Gov. Evers announced on May 18, 2020, that $75 million in grants have been created for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. These grants will provide small businesses with 20 or fewer full time employees a $2,500 grant to those who have not already received relief from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). These grants will be available for up to 30,000 small businesses in the State of Wisconsin.

Details about the program are now available!

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has published details on temporary funding programs in the CARES Act. Please know that Bank First is a Preferred SBA Lender and we are prepared to assist you!


The Senate passed an additional $310 billion to be added to the Paycheck Protection Program on April 23, 2020. It is unknown how long these funds will last; however, you can be assured that Bank First is fully equipped and prepared to submit additional applications into the program. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact your Bank First relationship manager to discuss if this program may be a fit for your business.

We understand you may have questions as you navigate through the details of this program. Please know our team is working diligently around the clock to serve our customers, and we are here to help. Please contact your local office or relationship manager, and they will assist with any questions or concerns you may have.


The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020.  In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:
• Are self-employed and have no employees; OR 
• Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR 
• Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%. 
The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers.  Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. 

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.  These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan. 

Additional tools you may wish to utilize: 

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program, there are several other loan programs available that your business may qualify for, if needed. Below is a brief outline of each program, along with a resource link for more information.


The Small Business Administration is offering additional loan options your business may qualify for, including:


  • This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. Learn More and determine if your business qualifies.


  • Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. Learn More and determine if your business qualifies.


  • The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More and determine if your business qualifies.


The Federal Reserve established the Main Street Lending Program to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program will operate through three facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF), the Main Street Priority Loan Facility (MSPLF), and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF).

Main Street Lending Program Frequently Asked Questions


USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more.

  • Borrowers may receive a 180-day loan payment deferral without prior agency approval for Business and Industry Loan Guarantees, Rural Energy for America Program Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Loan Guarantees, and Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees.


WWBIC is a leading innovative statewide economic development corporation that’s been “Putting Dreams to Work” since 1987. The COVID-19 Fast Track Loan Program is focused on existing businesses looking for business financing during COVID-19. Business owners have two options from which to pick depending on their needs: a line of credit or a term loan. Learn more.

In addition to the aforementioned lending resources, Bank First may also be able to assist your business with other loan options. Please contact your Bank First relationship manager to discuss which options are the best fit for your individual business. As always, thank you for choosing Bank First!

Additional Resources:

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