IN FOCUS — One group of Wisconsinites severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic were Wisconsin small business workers and owners.

Many businesses had to reduce hours, and in a lot of cases, shut down entirely during the height of the pandemic. Workers for those businesses found themselves losing out on regular income. With an influx of money, some are wondering if a portion could go to aid Wisconsin small businesses, and the people who work for them.

“We want to make sure that the small businesses that drive our state’s economy are targeted for this funding,” said Bill Smith, the director of the Wisconsin bureau of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, “I think it’s very important for state legislators to be careful how they spend the money, you want to get the most bang out of that buck, you want to make sure it targets those in our economy who can really leverage it to grow the economy and put people back to work.”

Smith says the important thing for both businesses and legislators to keep in mind is that the relief funding is temporary money, adding there is no guarantee this kind of money would be made available to states and municipalities again under the same circumstances.

“How we spend it has to be leveraged in a way that maximizes the value of those dollars in terms of pulling our economy out of the tailspin we’re in,” said Smith.