The Network Effect
The Chamber has a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Responses are posted at

Submit questions about the Forward Dane reopening strategy, CARES Act, availability of assistance for your business and more by visiting and entering the event code #ASK4BIZ (or simply click here to go directly to the page). Questions can also be submitted via email at

Good evening --

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and our organizational efforts to inform and ensure an effective community response.

Today's highlights include updates on Forward Dane metrics, a new online tool matching small businesses with PPP lenders and the impending deadline to apply for state assistance through "We're All In."


Last week, we shared that in addition to meeting all the metrics for Phase Two of the Forward Dane reopening plan, we also met all Phase Three metrics.

Unfortunately, this is no longer true.

There are now two metrics with a red status, Community Spread and COVID-like Symptoms, and one additional metric trending toward red, Cases Per Day. Any red metric would prevent Dane County from moving to Phase Three.

The Cases Per Day metric has seen a steady increase over the past month. When our transition to Phase One was announced on May 22, Dane County had a two-week average of eight new cases per day. This was above the green threshold of four new cases but below the red threshold of 20. When our transition to Phase Two was announced on June 12, our two-week average was 16 new cases per day.

As of today, our two-week average is 17. Of concern is the sharp increase in the number of positive tests over the past five days, which has seen the seven-day average of new cases rise from 17 to 25. If this trend continues, the Cases Per Day metric will be red when Public Health Madison & Dane County officials do their Phase Two review next week.

As more residents begin to expand their social circles, it is becoming more difficult to pinpoint the source of infections. As such, 33 percent of cases have an unknown origin, which is above the red threshold of 30 and a notable increase from the relatively stable rate of 23 percent in previous data snapshots. Keeping this number within the green and yellow ranges is important to controlling community spread.

As we continue under Forward Dane, it's important that we do so as safely as possible. For businesses, this means having the required hygiene, cleaning and protective measure policies and documenting staff receipt or training before reopening, incorporating general and sector-specific best practices, encouraging remote work to the greatest extent possible, accommodating sick employees, assisting contact tracers, and knowing what to do if you have an employee that tests positive. For customers, this means following Public Health recommendations for shopping and visiting establishments.

Individuals can continue to get tested through their healthcare provider or the free Alliant Energy Center community testing site that is now open through at least Aug. 7.


On Friday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the launch of a dedicated online tool for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), Farm Credit System lenders and Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This tool is intended for businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 but have not applied for or received an approved PPP loan.

Within two business days of entering their information into the Lender Match platform, a borrower receives an email from lenders who have been matched with them. Borrowers can see lenders’ requests for them to begin an application and are then able to begin the application process directly from the email they receive. Lender Match does not accept Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications.

After the PPP application deadline passes on June 30, Lender Match will be open to all participating SBA lenders.

To access Lender Match, visit here. For additional information about the PPP and other business relief options, click here.


Tomorrow (June 23) at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline to apply for "We're All In," a $75 million Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) initiative designed to provide direct assistance to those most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

To be eligible for these $2,500 cash grants, businesses must be Wisconsin-based and for-profit, employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, earn less than $1 million in annual revenues, have started operating prior to Jan. 1, 2020 and been in business as of Feb. 2020.

Apply here.


For a full archive of previously shared resources, visit

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