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Financing & Incentives

The Forest County Economic Development Partnership specializes in securing financial assistance for businesses expanding or relocating to Wisconsin’s Forest County.

We work closely with numerous local, state and federal agencies and have acquired the skills and contacts that enable us to help businesses in search of financial assistance easily cut through any red tape. If you are applying for a grant or loan, we strongly encourage you tocontact us so that we can provide information and advice to strengthen your application.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has a broad range of financial assistance programs to help businesses undertake economic development.

Frequently Used Available
Financing & Incentive Resources


Wisconsin Early Planning Grant
The Early Planning Grant (EPG) program is designed to help individual entrepreneurs and small businesses obtain the professional services necessary to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed start up or expansion. Under the EPG program, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) can provide a grant to cover a portion of the cost of hiring a for-profit, in-state, independent third party to develop a comprehensive business plan. In addition to formalizing an entrepreneur’s goals and objectives, a well-prepared business plan is critical to attract the capital financing necessary for a business to be successful. The grant (up to $3,000 and requiring a 25% match) is available to business start-ups in the following industry sectors:Automation

  • Agriculture/Food Products
  • Biotechnology
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical Devices
  • Paper/Forest Products
  • Printing
  • Tourism
  • Childcare (not including in-home childcare)

Tax Credits

Economic Development Tax Credit
The Economic Development Tax Credit replaces five former Wisconsin tax credit programs – the Airport Development Zone, Agricultural Development Zone, Community Development Zone, Enterprise Development Zone and Technology Zone programs. The new tax credit program eliminates all former zone boundaries, as well as creating new ways in which existing Wisconsin businesses or businesses relocating to Wisconsin can earn tax credits.

The tax credits, which are nonrefundable and nontransferable, must be applied against a certified business’s Wisconsin income tax liability. In the case of an S-Corporation, LLC or other pass-through entity, tax credits flow through to the owners in the same way as the income. The tax credits have a 15-year carry-forward. Visit Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for more information.

Loan Programs

WHEDA Small Business Guarantee Loan
WHEDA Small Business Guarantee (WSBG) helps to acquire or expand a small business with favorable financing terms.

Small Business Administration 7a Loan Program
7(a) loans are the most basic and most used type loan of SBA’s business loan programs. Its name comes from section 7(a) of the Small Business Act, which authorizes the Agency to provide business loans to American small businesses. Maximum loan size is $2,000,000. VisitU.S. Small Business Administration for more information.

Small Business Administration SBA Express Loan Program
Provides streamlined process for business to receive loans of $350,000 or less for start-up costs or expansion. Loans can be used for a revolving line of credit. Visit U.S. Small Business Administration for more information.

Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program
The CDC/504 loan program is a long-term financing tool for economic development within a community. The 504 Program provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings. A Certified Development Company is a nonprofit corporation set up to contribute to the economic development of its community. CDCs work with the SBA and private-sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses. Visit U.S. Small Business Administration for more information.

Small Business Administration Microloan Program
The Microloan Program provides very small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit community based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000. The average loan size is about $13,000. Applications are submitted to the local intermediary and all credit decisions are made on the local level. Visit U.S. Small Business Administration for more informaiton.

Rural Economic Development Microloan Program
The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program is designed to provide working capital or fixed asset financing for businesses in rural areas (Forest County does qualify). Since it’s inception in 1990, the RED program has provided more than $1.4 million to over 110 Wisconsin businesses. Visit commerce.wi.gov for more information.

Small Business Administration CAPLines
CAPLines is the umbrella program under which the SBA helps small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working-capital needs. Visit About SBA Loans for more information.

Industrial Revenue Bonds

Bond Issuance Costs Assistance
Industrial Revenue Bond Issuance Costs Assistance funds are available as short-term loans to help defray the additional up-front costs of issuing a tax-exempt bond for private purposes. This program is for applicants utilizing either Industrial Revenue Bonds or Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds. Contact us for more information.

Bond Volume Cap Allocation
Bonds are an economic development tool that can be used to stimulate capital investment and job creation by providing private borrowers with access to financing at a significantly lower interest rate where other types of financial assistance are not available. Contact us for more information.

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