City starts $500k CARES Act loan pool for area businesses

EAU CLAIRE — The city’s Economic Development Division began accepting applications on Friday for business loans for its new $500,000 fund established through a federal coronavirus aid package.

Employers in Eau Claire that are still struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic can inquire about zero-interest loans from the city ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

“We’re excited to have this as a tool to help businesses during these challenging times,” said Aaron White, the city’s economic development manager.

The loan money can be used to help pay rent, payroll, other operating expenses or costs to deal with difficulties posed by the coronavirus. Examples of the latter include equipment such as touchless payment systems, automatic door opening mechanisms, personal protective equipment, disposable restaurant menus or costs to expand a business into e-commerce.

To qualify, businesses must provide an average employee wage of at least $12 an hour. This is a reduction from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s usual requirement of $15 an hour.

Businesses seeking $5,000 to $10,000 can apply for an expedited loan, which only requires an application and tax returns from recent years. Those seeking over $10,000 will need to go through a more thorough application process requiring more documentation.

Deferred payments will be available for up to a year. The loans have a maximum repayment time of seven years.

For more information, go online to or call 715-839-4914.

UW-Stout’s MOC hosts webinars on Oct. 13

MENOMONIE — UW-Stout’s Manufacturing Outreach Center will host three free webinars on Tuesday, Oct. 13, on topics of interest to manufacturers in Wisconsin.

At 9 a.m., Jared Wesenick, president of Compound Dynamics, will talk about the costs and feasibility of large-part 3-D printing.

Gregory McFalls, president of McFalls Technical Solutions, will discuss new software made by manufacturers to leverage data-driven lean enterprise at 11 a.m.

The last webinar of the day will be a 1 p.m. presentation by John Dyer, author and IndustryWeek contributing editor, on workplace culture, leadership and building trust among employees.

All of these live webinars will feature question and answer sessions.

For more information or to register, go to

Short Takes

• ALTOONA — Adam Mohr, a private wealth advisor at River Prairie Wealth Partners in Altoona, was recently named to Ameriprise’s 2020 Chairman’s Advisory Council. Of more than 10,000 Ameriprise advisors, Mohr was chosen to be among the handful to serve as a sounding board to CEO Jim Cracchiolo and other company leaders.

• AUGUSTA — Unity Bank announced Friday that it has named two experienced bankers to its board of directors. John Hecht of Madison has more than 35 years of banking experience, most recently serving as president and CEO of WPS Bank in Madison. Brian Weimer of Mankato, Minn., has nearly 40 years of banking experience and currently serves as chief banking and sales officer at Profinium in Fairmont, Minn.

From staff reports