Regional roundup

Posted on Apr 30, 2020 :: Regional Roundup
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

• Interstate 41 Corridor

Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties

Regional airports receive FAA funds to help respond to COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration will award $83,193,654 in airport aid to 87 airports in Wisconsin, including 15 in the New North, to help them respond to COVID-19.
Regional airports receiving funds include: Appleton International Airport, $14.96 million; Green Bay Austin Straubel Airport, $7.95 million; Wittman

Regional Airport (Oshkosh), Fond du Lac County Regional Airport and Sheboygan County Memorial Airport, all receiving $69,000 each; Oconto Municipal Airport, Shawano Municipal Airport, Clintonville Municipal Airport, Wautoma Municipal Airport, New Holstein Municipal Airport, Manitowoc County Airport, Door County Cherryland Airport (Sturgeon Bay) and Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport, all receiving $30,000 each; and Crivitz Municipal Airport and Washington Island Airport, each receiving $20,000.

Winnebago County launches COVID-19 rapid response effort

A collaboration between the Fox Cities Regional Partnership, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. has led to the Winnebago County COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program.

The fund totals $750,000 and is available to small business applicants through the support of the Winnebago County Industrial Development Board, which is using a portion of the Winnebago County Revolving Loan Fund for this purpose.

Loans are available in the amounts of $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000 with a three-year amortization, 2 percent interest, deferred principal and interest until Nov. 1. Loans support basic business needs, including rent/mortgage payments, utility payments, payroll expenses and pre-existing purchase orders.

“This is a great opportunity for the County Industrial Development Board to directly help county businesses that are suffering through the current pandemic. I am encouraged by this collaboration and pleased that Winnebago County can assist during these times,” said Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris.

• The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Door County establishes nonprofit response fund

The Door County Community Foundation and the United Way of Door County have activated the Door County Emergency Response Fund to address COVID-19.

As of mid-April, the fund had raised around $306,000 and will continue to grow, says Bret Bicoy, president and CEO of the Door County Community Foundation. The organization has begun distributing funds to organizations including Boys and Girls Club of Door County, Door County Meals Cooperative, Washington Island Community Health Program, HELP of Door County, Door County Medical Center Foundation and Door County Fire Chief’s Relief Fund.

Door County’s entire season is in jeopardy, Bicoy says. Countless residents make the bulk of their income during the warm months and rely upon that to carry them through the winter. This year’s summer income is threatened, and the community must be prepared to respond not just to the immediate needs but also to the suffering that is likely to linger for many months, he said.

Northern Sky Theater, for example, canceled its 2020 outdoor season at Peninsula State Park in Door County and delayed the start of its indoor season in its new Gould Theater. Bicoy says it’s one example of the toll the crisis is taking in the county, as the theater employs around 65 people.

Kewaunee County receives grant to improve broadband

Kewaunee County received a $960,000 grant to increase its high-speed internet access with the assistance of Bug Tussel Wireless in Green Bay.

The state Public Service Commission recently awarded 72 grants as part of its Broadband Expansion Grants. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt said the state grant is a game-changer in the effort to improve local high-speed internet access.

The Kewaunee County project includes building seven wireless towers in the county, beginning in the towns of Carlton, Casco, Franklin, Red River and West Kewaunee. The fixed wireless service is expected to reach 199 businesses and 12,115 residential locations.

The $2.3 million project is also funded by a $500,000 commitment from Bug Tussel and a 12-year loan for the balance from the county to Bug Tussel.

• West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Shawano County sets up COVID-19 relief, recovery fund

The Shawano County COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund has been established to provide flexible financial resources to 501(c)(3) organizations working in Shawano County that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak.

The United Way of Shawano County, in consultation and partnership with other community entities, will administer grants from the fund in phases to help address short- and longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery.

For the short-term phase, priority will be given to nonprofits that are providing direct assistance to vulnerable individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. Such assistance may include providing food and hygiene supplies, housing, child care and health services. All grants in this phase will be related to the increased demand due to COVID-19 and the Safer at Home order.

The immediate priority for the organization is emergency relief and support. It says it will consider additional requests as the weeks unfold and as funds become available.

The short-term phase includes proactively identifying potential grant recipients and using input, guidance and research from organizations and others in the community to make grant decisions.
No formal application process is required so resources can be used quickly.

• The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Tri-City Area United Way launches COVID-19 support fund

Tri-City Area United Way launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund, contributing $10,000 to the fund. The organization serves Marinette and Oconto counties in Wisconsin and Menominee County in Michigan.

The COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide resources to nonprofit organizations working with community members who are impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of this outbreak. Contributions to the fund are designed to fill the gaps arising from the pandemic and to address all aspects of it as efficiently as possible. Qualifying nonprofit organizations will receive a grant up to $500.

To donate to the fund or learn more about it, visit

In addition, the M&M Area Community Foundation established the Impact Fund to support nonprofits. The organization seeded the fund with $20,000. Executive Director Paula Gruszynski said she anticipates that amount will continue to grow. “The need is there,” she said. “I am hearing from area nonprofits daily, and they are looking for help.”

To donate or learn more, visit