Evers announces indoor gathering limit, new COVID-19 aid

Posted on Oct 6, 2020 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
Jessica Thiel
Posted by of Insight Publications

Gov. Tony Evers today made two major announcements surrounding coronavirus and the accompanying economic crisis.

Evers has directed the Department of Health Services to issue an emergency order limiting public gatherings to no more than 25 percent of a room or building’s total occupancy. See the full order and list of exemptions here.

The directive goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Oct. 8 and will remain in effect until Nov. 6. It applies to any gatherings at locations that are open to the public such as stores, restaurants and other businesses that allow public entry, as well as spaces with ticketed events.

“We’re in a crisis right now and need to immediately change our behavior to save lives,” Evers said. “We are continuing to experience a surge in cases and many of our hospitals are overwhelmed, and I believe limiting indoor public gatherings will help slow the spread of this virus. The sooner we get control of this virus, the sooner our economy, communities, and state can bounce back.”

In addition, Evers announced more than $100 million in investments aimed at providing additional economic stabilization for small businesses and communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new infusion of funds includes an additional $50 million for “We’re All In” grants, an economic development grant program launched by Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. this summer. More than 26,000 businesses statewide have received a grant through the program, but many continue to face economic challenges from the pandemic.

Today’s announcement also provides further investments in economic stabilization programs to support the lodging and tourism industry, live music and performance venues, cultural nonprofits and privately owned movie theaters. These efforts are funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Coronavirus Relief Fund and will help Wisconsin’s small businesses and venues that serve as cultural catalysts in communities across the state.

The new investments announced today include:

  • Over $50 million of $5,000 We’re All In grants to more than 10,000 Wisconsin small businesses
  • $20 million for the Wisconsin lodging industry
  • $15 million for live music and performance venues throughout Wisconsin
  • $10 million to support privately owned movie theaters
  • $10 million in additional support for nonprofit cultural venues
  • $4 million in additional investments for destination marketing organizations and tourism drivers

To read more details about the disbursements, click here.