In new windowBadger Bounceback LogoWelcome to the latest Badger Bounceback weekly update! We are excited to share updated information on grant and aid programs announced by Governor Tony Evers, most funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).  These critical investments provide a lifeline to Wisconsin communities and businesses to ensure a strong pandemic recovery.Read on to view the latest grant program announcements, application information and more. Check out direct program links to get additional details on specific programs.Grant Programs Now Accepting Applications:Broadband Expansion Grants – Applications OpenPSC Broadband Grant announcement social graphicThe Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is now accepting grant applications for the FY22 Broadband Expansion Grant Program. This latest program is funded through the state budget. The application period opened December 1, and will close March 17, 2022.  Altogether, under Governor Evers’ leadership, state broadband expansion grants and federal funds for broadband projects have provided or are going to offer access to new or improved broadband services to more than 300,000 homes and businesses. A map of recent grant recipients is available here: information is available on the program website: Main Street Bounceback Grants – Application Period OngoingThe Main Street Bounceback Grants program provides $10,000 to new or existing businesses and non-profit organizations moving into vacant properties in Wisconsin’s downtowns and commercial corridors. The program is open to new or existing businesses opening a new location or expanding operations in a vacant commercial space as of January 1, 2021. Grant funds are available as part of the American Recovery Plan Act and will be distributed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) regional partners. Businesses must apply through the partner organization for the region in which they are located. Applications are open through June 30, 2022. Additional information about the Main Street Bounce Back Grants is available here: Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program – Help Is Still Available The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERA) provides up to 18 months of assistance with current or overdue bills to help households that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic avoid eviction. More than 25,000 Wisconsinites have already received help with rent and utilities statewide. Help is still available for eligible households through WISCAP agencies and Energy Services. The program is funded by the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration.Additional information about the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program is available here: Announcements$20+ Million in Tourism Capital Grant Program Awards – Just Announced!TourismGovernor Tony Evers just announced $21.9 million in grants, awarded to 27 local governments and organizations through the Tourism Capital Grant Program. The previously announced program was created to support tourism-related capital improvement projects across the state, to help promote, maintain or bolster the tourism industry. Since 2020, Gov. Evers has prioritized more than $200 million in support for travel, tourism, lodging, and entertainment industries. Additional details and list of recipients is available on the Tourism Capital Grant Program website: Medicaid Rate Increase for Healthcare ProvidersHospital graphicGovernor Tony Evers and the Department of Health Services (DHS) announced a five percent increase in reimbursement rates for several types of home and community-based providers, including hospitals and nursing homes, part of Wisconsin’s Medicaid programs. The announcement from Gov. Evers and DHS comes as the state continues to face healthcare workforce challenges in the midst of surging COVID-19 cases across Wisconsin. Last week, the Evers Administration announced the state has worked to recruit nearly 600 temporary staff to support the state’s healthcare workforce.Statewide Meat Talent Development InvestmentMeat IndustryTogether with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Governor Evers recently announced up to $5 million in meat talent development assistance. Funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, this funding will be used to attract and provide financial support to students in Wisconsin meat processing training programs, as well as support program development and connect the meat processing industry with potential employees.More information coming soon. Workforce Innovation GranteesWorkforce Innovation Grant program graphicGovernor Evers unveiled 12 regional projects set to receive up to $60 million dollars in Workforce Innovation Grants. These grants will help provide long-term solutions to Wisconsin’s workforce challenges for communities across the state. Among the projects funded in the first round of grants are public-private partnerships to train and attract healthcare workers throughout rural Wisconsin; develop next-generation advanced manufacturing employees in west-central and southeast Wisconsin; expand affordable, high-quality childcare in Door County, Green County, and south-central Wisconsin; create pipelines of young, educated workers in Milwaukee; train construction and skilled craft workers throughout the state; foster a culture of entrepreneurship in Kenosha; and enable incarcerated individuals to earn undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin.  More information about the program and the next round of funding is available on the Workforce Innovation Grant Program website: and Behavioral Health Services for Underserved WisconsinitesGovernor Evers recently announced a $2 million investment to support mental health and behavioral services for underserved communities, including Hmong and Southeast Asian Wisconsinites through the Project Resiliency initiative of the Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Association, Inc. (WUCMAA). The Wisconsin Department of Health Services will contract with WUCMAA to provide culturally sensitive services.$30 Million Food Pantry Network InvestmentThe recent $30 million announcement for the Food Security Initiative builds upon $25 million in investments by Governor Evers to the Food Security Initiative in 2020, funded through federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The $30 million investment announced by Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will be used to ensure food-insecure residents in rural communities, urban centers, Tribal Nations, and Wisconsinites in every corner of our state receive much-needed hunger relief.More information is available at the Food Security Initiative website.Update on $4.5 Billion in Pandemic Relief and Recovery InvestmentsThis week, Governor Evers shared an overview of more than $4.5 billion in investments made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure Wisconsin’s continued economic recovery.  This includes $1.3 billion for Wisconsin’s economic recovery and resilience, including support for the state’s workforce, businesses, farmers, and tourism and lodging industries, among other critical industries. More than $2.77 billion has already been expended or obligated for emergency response and public health efforts, economic support initiatives, and direct support for Wisconsin residents, businesses, and communities. Nearly $173 million remains in a pandemic response and recovery reserve to ensure the state has ample resources to respond to ongoing healthcare and workforce issues related to the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant. To see a breakdown of planned and ongoing investments, view the Badger Bounceback Allocations
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