Can I start-and-stop the application submittal process; or do I have to complete it right away?

Yes; by Creating an Account, you will be able to complete the application at your leisure.

Is there a deadline for making this application?

No; there isn’t a formal application deadline. If funding remains available, the application portal will remain open. As a reminder, the funding for this grant program is from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – not from the County. 

My business / organization suffered extensive financial hardships because of the pandemic. Will this grant cover that hardship?

The actual grant amount awarded to an applicant will be equal to the demonstrated amount of economic losses recorded by that applicant in Year 2020. For example, if your reported / documented losses were $15,000 you would potentially be eligible for $10,000. If your losses were $7,500, your grant award would be up to $7,500. In any case, the maximum grant award will be capped at $10,000 per applicant.

If my business / organization is awarded funding from this program, do I / we need to repay the County?

No; this is a grant and no repayment is required. However, please note there are income tax obligations associated with receiving this funding. Please review and disclose this information with your tax / accounting provider(s).

In general, how long will it take before I receive the grant funding?

Once an applicant has received notification of its approved funding status, the disbursement of this grant can be expected within 7-10 days.

My business is structured as a C-Corporation or a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), can I apply?

No; only businesses structured as a limited liability company, s-corporation, independent contractor or sole proprietor – as defined by the IRS – are eligible. 

What about small businesses that represent the agricultural, construction or manufacturing sector – are they eligible?

No; only small businesses that represent the restaurant, retail and/or service (i.e. personal and professional) sector are eligible. 

What about locally-owned franchise businesses, are they eligible?

Yes; an independently and locally-owned franchise that is headquartered in Rock County is eligible. 

Can any type of non-profit organization apply for this funding?

No; only those organizations structured as a 501(c)(3) are eligible. 

What if I am a non-WI resident, but my business is headquartered in Rock County, am I eligible for this funding?

Yes; if your business meets all the eligibility requirements.

The application has a section that references “Third-Party Assistance”. Do I need to pay for someone to help me make an application?

No; the application process is simple. However, if you happen to seek some type of application assistance – regardless if that assistance is provided free or for a fee – please make sure to reference the type of assistance provided and who/what provided it. 

I work for a large, for-profit accounting and tax firm that happens to have an office in Rock County. Is my firm eligible to receive the $125 application Advisor or Third-Party Assistance stipend?

Yes; pending that you / your firm has registered with the County (for this program) and that said applicant(s) have been funded. 

I work for a Chamber of Commerce; can I register as an Advisor or Third-Party Assistance provider and receive the $125 application stipend?

Yes; you may register your Chamber and for every successful application that is funded – your Chamber will receive a $125 stipend. 

I own several small businesses, can I submit more than one application?

No; a small business owner (or group of owners with more than 20% ownership interest) and non-profit, may only apply once – regardless of how many different businesses are affiliated, managed and/or owned by said individual(s) or group(s).

I started my business in September 2021, can I apply for this funding?

No; only those businesses that were operating in Rock County prior to March 15, 2021 are eligible.

My business / organization received pandemic-related financial assistance from the State of Wisconsin (e.g. DOA, WEDC, Tourism, etc.), can I still apply?

Yes; the same holds true for other forms of pandemic-related assistance that may have been received from local, state, and/or federal sources. The main exceptions, however, include PPP and the SBA EIDL funding. If a business / organization received any type of financial assistance from the PPP or the SBA EIDL programs, they are not eligible for this County grant.

What if my business was originally delinquent on paying its payroll and sales taxes to the State of Wisconsin, but an approved repayment plan with the state exists. Is my business still considered ineligible?

Yes; however, depending on the unique and specific circumstances an exemption could potentially be made. To make this case, your business would need to provide (and upload) the necessary and supporting information during the application process. 

Does my business / organization need to provide detailed financial and/or banking statements?

No; those types of documents are not required. Your business / organization, will need to provide at least two years of federal tax returns; a W-9; articles of incorporation / organization or WI DFI certification; a WI DOR BRT certification; and a copy of your driver’s license. 

Why am I receiving email communication from RSM US, LLP – when this is a County program?

The County has a contract with RSM US, LLP to provide various services associated with this grant. Therefore, please be aware these communications are NOT spam. 

I received notification that my application was approved, and now I have been asked to register with a system called bill.com. What’s this about; and why is this step required?

The bill.com system is an ACH platform the County is using as the delivery method for disbursing these grant funds. To receive funding from this program, applicants must register with bill.com . 

My business is super busy; and I don’t have time to drive over to UW-Whitewater’s main campus to attend a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) seminar. Nor do I have the extra money to pay for these types of services. Will these circumstances prohibit me from receiving funding from this grant program?

No; the services delivered from the UW Small Business Development (SBDC) will be free of charge. In addition, these services will be provided locally and customized to meet your specific business needs. 

I received a notice from the grant program, indicating that my application was not approved. Are there any other forms of pandemic-related financial assistance?

Yes; there are programs available and the County, it’s contracted service provider and/or the UW Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will help with identifying which program(s) provides the best fit. As a mater of fact, businesses / organizations that participate with the SBDC will receive priority in receiving a loan through the County’s Small Business Loan Fund – pending all other eligibility standards have been met.

If I am awarded this grant, do I have to report and pay income taxes on this award?

Yes; income tax obligations will apply. Please review and disclose this information with your tax / accounting provider(s).

I am aware that grant funding comes with “financial strings”. What type of post-award reporting is required?

At the present time, the final regulations governing the receipt and use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding have not been issued. That said, the County will seek to use as much of the info / data contained in your application – as well as any TBD follow-up communications – to mitigate any direct reporting requirements from you to the federal government. Since ARPA regulations remain fluid, thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.