What is the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program?
The Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program will award $420 million to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is intended to support businesses who are hardest hit by the pandemic and are key to Wisconsin making a strong recovery. The program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) in collaboration with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and is funded with money received from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act.
When and how can I apply?
The application closed at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 7.
Who is eligible?
An individual or entity who operates a business may apply if
all the following criteria are met:
- The business started operating on or before December 31, 2020, is still operating in 2021, and suffered an economic loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. An economic loss may be from lost revenue or increased expenses as a result of the pandemic.
- The individual or entity filed its 2019 federal and Wisconsin income or franchise tax return (see exception in Question 18).
- The business has more than $10,000 and less than $7 million in annual revenues (gross receipts less returns and allowances) shown on their federal tax return, specifically:
- Line 1c of 2019 Form 1065
- Line 1c of 2019 Form 1120
- Line 1c of 2019 Form 1120-S
- Line 3 of 2019 Schedule C (Form 1040 or 1040-SR)
- At least 75% of the business's value of real and tangible personal property owned or rented and used by the business is located in Wisconsin. For this criterion, real and tangible personal property owned by the business is valued at its original cost, and real and tangible personal property rented by the business is valued at an amount equal to the annual rental paid by the business, less any annual rental received by the business from sub-rentals, multiplied by 8.
- At least 75% of the amount of the business's labor costs are incurred by individuals performing services for the business in Wisconsin. For this criterion, labor costs for performing services in Wisconsin include amounts paid to individuals and reported on Forms W-2 or 1099, amounts paid to a professional employer organization or a professional employer group, and the net profit reported by sole proprietors on Schedule C of their federal individual income tax return.
- The individual or entity must not be on one of the following lists:
- The business must not be a governmental unit or primarily engaged in any of the following North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes beginning with:
- 111XXX - Crop Production
- 112XXX - Animal Production or Aquaculture
- 5311XX - Lessors of Real Estate
- 813XXX - Nonprofit Organizations
Can someone else complete the application for me?
Yes. A business may have a representative apply on their behalf. The person that completes the application must enter their first and last name in the Contact Info section of the application.
How long will the application take to complete?
The online application should take no more than 15 minutes to complete if you have your 2019 income tax return in front of you.
Can I save the application and complete later?
No. You must complete the application in one session.
Can I print the completed application?
No. You will have to print each page or tab of the application as you complete it. To print each page, right-click on the page and select print from your internet browser.
What information do I need to complete the application?
- A complete copy of your business's 2019 federal income tax return. You will need the amount of revenue from the appropriate line of the federal return (see the federal forms and line references in the answer to question #3).
- The business's primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. This information may be reported on your tax return. The application will help you search for NAICS codes. You can also search for the appropriate NAICS code at:
May I receive a grant for each business I own?
No. An individual or entity may only receive one grant, regardless of the number of business locations, divisions, or separate operations.
- Each spouse of a joint federal income tax return may receive a grant if each spouse owns and operates a separate business from the other spouse (see Question 13).
- Each corporation within a federal consolidated group or a Wisconsin combined group may qualify independently of each other and apply separately for the grant (see Question 16).
Are seasonal businesses eligible?
Yes. Businesses may apply even if they are not yet open for the 2021 season.
Are sole proprietorship businesses eligible?
Yes. Sole proprietors may apply.
Are "gig workers" and other independent contractors eligible?
Yes, if they meet the criteria above. For example, they must have filed an income tax return reporting their business income on Schedule C of their federal tax return.
Can a married couple that files a joint income tax return qualify for more than one grant if each spouse separately owns and operates a business (e.g., two Schedule C's included with the joint federal income tax return)?
- Yes. If the two businesses are separately owned and operated by each spouse, and each business separately meets the eligibility criteria, each spouse may qualify for a grant. The married couple should complete one application for their joint tax return. The application will allow the married couple to report information about their separate Schedule C businesses.
- If the two Schedule C's are a joint business venture under sec. 761(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the married couple may only qualify for one grant. The married couple should complete one application for their joint tax return, but only complete one Schedule C on the application (i.e., combine the revenue from both Schedule C's, Line 3 and enter it as one amount on the application).
Can limited liability company (LLC) businesses apply for the grant?
- If the business is a single member LLC that is disregarded as a separate entity from its owner for federal income tax purposes, the owner of the disregarded entity should apply using the owner's name and tax identification number.
Example: Mr. John is the sole member of John's Barber Shop LLC. The revenue and expenses of the LLC are reported on Mr. John's federal income tax return (Form 1040, Schedule C). Mr. John should apply using Mr. John's name and social security number.
- If the business is an LLC that files its own federal income tax return as a partnership or corporation, the LLC should apply using the LLC's name and FEIN that it uses to file its federal tax return (e.g., Form 1065, 1120, or 1120-S. Each LLC business is eligible for a grant if the LLC files a separate federal income tax return from its owner.
If a person owns multiple LLC businesses, can each LLC business receive a grant?
If a person owns multiple LLCs that do not file separate federal income tax returns from the owner, the owner may only be eligible for one grant.
For example, if an individual owns multiple businesses and reports them as separate Schedule Cs on their federal income tax return, the individual should complete one application for their tax return, but only complete one Schedule C on the application (i.e., combine the revenue from all Schedule C's, Line 3 and enter it as one amount on the application).
How do groups of corporations that file a combined Wisconsin income/franchise tax return (Form 6) apply for the grant?
Each corporation within a combined group may qualify independently of each other and apply separately for the grant.
What if I have not yet filed my 2019 tax return?
You must file your 2019 Wisconsin tax return before the application deadline.
What if I started my business in 2020 and don't have business revenue on a 2019 income tax return?
You can still apply, but you must enter your 2020 tax information on the application, even if you haven't filed your 2020 income tax return yet. Businesses filing a 2020 tax return with a fiscal year must enter revenue for the fiscal year.
What if the amount of revenue reported on my tax return is incorrect, or I reported my business income incorrectly on Schedule E or Schedule F?
You must file an amended tax return and resolve any errors with DOR by 12:00 p.m. on July 30. Call (608) 266-2772 or email
What amount of annual revenue do I report on the application if my business’s 2019 tax return is reported on a fiscal year?
A fiscal year tax filer should use the annual amount from their 2019 tax return to report on the application.
What amount of annual revenue should I report on the application if my business’s tax return is less than 12 months?
If the business's tax return is less than 12 months, you must use a full twelve months of revenue nearest to the taxable year to determine your eligibility.
The application asks to identify the race or ethnicity of the owners of the business. What is the description of each?
American Indian or Alaska Native – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
Asian – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as "Haitian" or "Negro" can be used in addition to "Black or African American."
Hispanic or Latino – A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The term, "Spanish origin," can be used in addition to "Hispanic or Latino."
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
These descriptions are consistent with the 1997 Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (Statistical Policy Directive No. 15) set by the Office of Management and Budget.
My business already received a We're All In Small Business Grant from WEDC or DOR. Can I still apply for the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant?
Yes, but only apply if the business meets the criteria described above.
How will I know if my application is approved or denied?
You will receive an email or letter from DOR indicating if your application is approved or denied. Check your email often. We have extended our deadline. You must resolve any errors with your application by 12:00 p.m. on July 30.
What do I do if my application is denied?
Please do not resubmit an application. DOR uses tax information to verify if you qualify. If your return was filed incorrectly, you must file an amended return to be considered for a grant.
If you receive an email or letter denying your application, you must resolve any errors with your application by 12:00 p.m. on July 30.
To resolve errors submitted on your application, call (608) 266-2772 or email
How much are the grant awards?
Grants amounts are expected to be $5,000 per eligible applicant.
When and how will I receive the money?
DOR has already issued some payments and will continue to issue payments into August as application errors are resolved. You may request to receive the money by direct deposit or have a check mailed to you.
Will my payment be intercepted to pay delinquent taxes or other debts?
What can the grant money be used for?
Grant money can be used for any business operating costs, including but not limited to wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory, and/or for health and safety improvements.
Are payments from the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program taxable income?
Income from the program is included in federal income under sec.
61 of the Internal Revenue Code, unless an exemption applies.
For Wisconsin, this income should be excluded from federal adjusted gross income by making a subtraction modification on the appropriate line of the tax return. Expenses paid for with the program and deducted in the computation of federal adjusted gross income are not required to be added back on the Wisconsin return.
Will my business receive a Form 1099-G?
DOR will issue each grant recipient a 2021 federal Form 1099-G by January 31, 2022, indicating the grant is taxable for federal income tax purposes.
Will the amount of my direct payment be released to the public?
In the event of a public records request, DOR will be legally required to provide information, including your name or company name, address, and the amount of any payments you receive through the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant program.
What if I have other questions?