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State offering no-interest loans to Kenosha businesses damaged during riots
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State offering no-interest loans to Kenosha businesses damaged during riots

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Business owners trying to recover from damage that occurred during riots last week will get help from the state through interest-free loans for making repairs and rebuilding inventory.

Gov. Tony Evers said the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is making $1 million available for loans of up to $20,000 for local business owners who suffered damage to their buildings.

The program will be administered by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance. Evers said he believed the money would be available within days and could act as a bridge while business owners are working with their insurance.

“When I was in Kenosha I saw a lot of pain and anguish, but I also saw a lot of people being resilient and trying to rebuild,” Evers said.

The micro-loan program is designed to help with cleanup costs, repairs, temporary operating space, restoration services or other costs.

“Obviously, in many cases $20,000 won’t cover everything for businesses,” Evers said.

He also said the program was designed to get money to people quickly through WEDC’s Disaster Recovery Microloan program.

Evers said the state will continue to work with city and county officials on additional recovery assistance.

“We’re also looking at, bigger picture, what we can do going forward, as far as providing resources and assistance for Kenosha,” he said.

Last week Mayor John Antaramian said the city is seeking $30 million from the state to help rebuild Uptown, which saw the most damage during unrest last week. Evers said the microloan program is the state’s first step in providing financial help.

State Rep. Tod Ohnstad, D-Kenosha, said the loan program “will help us rebuild. We have to rebuild physical buildings, which this will help, and also rebuild relationships.”

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