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Wisconsin Government Relations Update: COVID-19 Response

Updated March 23, 2020

WI Gov. Evers Announces via Twitter a Forthcoming “Safer at Home” Order

  • Governor Evers plans to Issue a Safer at Home Order that will, among other things, close non-essential businesses in the state. The Order will be issued on March 24, 2020.
  • It is unclear at this time how the Order will define an “essential business.” In states such as Illinois, the list of exempted “essential businesses” has been fairly broad. DeWitt will update this post as soon as the Safer at Home Order is issued.
  • Governor Evers plans to issue this Order despite stating publicly in recent days that he thought such an Order may be unnecessary, and after receiving requests from, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Speaker of the State Assembly, Robin Vos, and Assembly Majority Leader, Jim Steineke, to NOT to place additional restrictions on Wisconsin businesses

Wisconsin Small Businesses Approved to Apply for Federal Disaster Loans

  • Small businesses may receive up to $2 million in federal loans for COVID-19 related losses:
    • 3.75% interest rate for small businesses;
    • 2.75% interest rate for nonprofits; and
    • Payments may be extended up to 30 years.
  • To apply, you will need the following:

WEDC Provides Loans to Wisconsin Businesses with 20 or Fewer Employees

  • Grants available of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with up to 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19).

Federal and Wisconsin Income Tax Payment and Return Due Dates Extended to July 15, 2020

  • The extended deadlines apply to individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, associations, companies or corporations.
  • The extension applies to income tax payments, estimated income tax payments and returns originally due April 15, 2020.
  • Tax filers do not have to file any extension forms to be eligible for this new due date.
  • There is no limit on the amount of payment to be postponed, and there are no income exclusions.
  • No interest or penalty for the period of April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
  • Interest, penalties, and underpayment interest for failure to make quarterly estimated tax payments with respect to such postponed federal income tax filings and payments will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.

Links to Minnesota COVID-19 Resources

About the Authors

Jordan Lamb is an administrative and regulatory attorney and the Chair of DeWitt’s Government Relations Practice Group. Her law practice is enhanced by her love of all things written and her strong public speaking skills. Her ability to connect with others through writing and public speaking provides the platform for her regulatory practice, which is focused on government relations and environmental law.

She can be reached by email at or by phone at 608-252-9358.

Wesley Webendorfer is an attorney practicing out of our Madison office. He is a member of the Government Relations, Environmental and Litigation practice groups. Contact Wes by email or by phone at (608) 252-9368.

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DeWitt LLP is one of the ten largest law firms based in Wisconsin, with an additional presence in Minnesota. It has more than 130 attorneys practicing in Madison, Greater Milwaukee, Green Bay and Minneapolis in over 30 legal practice areas, and has the experience to service clients of all scopes and sizes.


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