May 06, 2021
County Board Chair Analiese Eicher, (608) 571-6823
County Board

The Dane County Board will consider a resolution at tonight’s meeting that, if approved, will provide $15 million in support for local businesses through a contract with Dane Buy Local.


The American Rescue Plan, approved by Congress and signed by President Biden earlier this year, provided $106 million to Dane County for responding to the pandemic.


The resolution before the Board would authorize a contract with Dane Buy Local Foundation, Inc. for an emergency small business grant program. In 2020, Dane Buy Local Foundation, Inc. provided this service following Dane County’s first federal CARES allocation, administering an over $10.6 million emergency small business grant program that awarded funds to 2,692 local businesses.


"I’m pleased we are able to provide another round of grants to Dane County businesses," said County Board Supervisor Patrick Miles (District 34), who also chairs the Personnel and Finance Committee.  "Because, while we can see light at the pandemic tunnel, many business owners are struggling from the effects of the last year. These grants will help them stay in open and save jobs."


Dane Buy Local will partner with the Latino Chamber of Commerce and Madison’s Black Chamber of Commerce as well as the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation to identify local businesses to receive the grants.


"Partnering with these organizations will ensure that the funds being distributed equitably across the County. I’m eager to provide this continued support to local businesses in our County," said County Board Chair Analiese Eicher.


The Board will also consider a resolution that would provide a 30% credit to licensed establishments, like restaurants, hotels and campgrounds for the 2021-2022 licensing year due to the ongoing pandemic and response. During the pandemic, a public health emergency was declared, which reassigned sanitarians to support businesses, contact tracing, testing, and vaccination. When the sanitarians were reassigned they were not able to provide a level of service that is normally provided to licensed establishments in Dane County.


"Public Health Madison and Dane County has been flexible and supportive of all needs related to the pandemic in the last year. The public health emergency required us to think differently about how we provide service, and how to best serve the residents of the county. I’m happy we are able to credit businesses, many of whom have struggled this past year, for work that was not completed to the level it typically is," said County Board Supervisor Holly Hatcher (District 26), who also serves on the Board of Health.


The Board will be meeting virtually at 7:00pm. The agenda is available here, along with information for members of the public to connect to the meeting and register to speak.