By Press Release Submitted to Published Apr 23, 2020 at 8:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

Shorewood’s Community Development Authority (CDA) has teamed up with the Shorewood Business Improvement District to create an emergency fund to help local businesses meet their short-term financial needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our small businesses are facing a crisis like no other," said Arthur Ircink, president of the Shorewood BID board. "I’m really pleased by how quickly and eagerly all parties came together on the decision to offer them some assistance during this incredibly challenging time."

The CDA and BID sought the council of the Village Board of Trustees to outline the parameters of the Emergency Business Assistance Fund and the Board ultimately unanimously approved the fund at its April 21 meeting. Money for the $300,000 fund was originally allocated for general activities and the Authority’s façade improvement plan, which has now been suspended.

"Our small businesses are so unique and important to all of us," says Peter Hammond, chair of the CDA board. "They are an indispensable part of the fabric of Shorewood and we are privileged to be able to provide some level of relief during these challenging times."

Business owners can apply for a grant from the Emergency Business Assistance Program through the BID website. Applications are due by May 4th and businesses must have a valid Commercial Occupancy Permit, be in good standing, and have been closed or significantly impacted by the emergency orders to be considered. Full details of the program, including eligibility and application materials, can be found on the BID website. Information will also be mailed to current Commercial Occupancy Permit holders.

"The fund will provide business owners with quick access to flexible capital so they can weather the Covid-19 storm," says Steph Salvia, Shorewood BID executive director. "We wanted to come up with a creative solution to cover any gaps in federal or state funded programs so that the businesses can come back and again be a vital part of a thriving community. "

The program was conceived of when Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued the "Safer at Home" decree and ordered all non-essential businesses closed. Local business owners quickly realized the economic impact the ruling would have on their ability to meet their financial obligations and urged the BID to take action. The CDA will administer the program with oversight from the Village.