Small Business Development Center (UW-Madison)
A business education resource for business owners in Dane, Columbia and Sauk counties. Services include:
Madison Development Corporation (MDC)
Wisconsin Business AnswerLine:
Experts available to give free answers to business start-up or management questions from Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.
1-800-940-7232 or http://www.wisconsinsbdc.net/busanswer/
- Business Counseling (608) 263-7680.
For established businesses that need additional help, to solve specific business problems or capitalize on business opportunities. UW-Madison SBDC Business Counseling is funded by the Small Business Administration and is free of charge.
- Seminars: The UW-Madison SBDC offers a full range of business management seminars for both established businesses and start-up companies. www.uwsbdc.org
MDC has loan funds available for growing or start-up businesses that cannot fully meet the underwriting standards of private commercial lenders. MDC can lend up to $200,000 to qualifying businesses for working capital, inventory, equipment and leasehold improvements, as well as real estate. Information on business loans is at:
City of Madison Office of Business Resources
Works with work with entrepreneurs and businesses providing business start-up, retention, expansion, attraction and technical assistance services, including Business Planning Assistance, Economic/Demographic Information, and Financing Sources. City of Madison programs below provide direct financial assistance for businesses and properties owners.
Business Resources at Madison Public Library
City Business Licenses & Permitting information
- Fašade Improvement Grant Program:
Matching grants that can be used for restoring or enhancing the entire facade or elevation of a commercial building in the Central Business Improvement District and other areas. Grants are available for up to 50% of the total project cost, to a maximum of $10,000 per street-facing fašade or $25,000 for a flatiron building. Examples of past recipients of Fašade Improvement Grants include: Nick's Restaurant (226 State St., 2001), Home Savings Bank (2. S. Carroll St., 2002), Ragstock (329 State St., 2004), Irish Pub (317 State St., 2004), Castle and Doyle Building at 125 State (2004), Brocach Irish Pub & Restaurant (7 W. Main St., 2004), Bartell Theatre (113 E. Mifflin St., 2005), and Fromagination (12 S. Carroll St., 2007).
- Green Madison. Green Madison works with City of Madison homeowners and business owners to lower energy costs. Green Madison can assemble a team of energy experts to identify and vet energy-efficiency projects. Then, through financing products tailored to meet the needs of virtually any type of business in Madison, they can assist in making your energy-efficiency project a reality.
- Brownfields Remediation / Elimination & Workforce Development (BREWD):
Funding available to facilitate business development and permanent employment creation projects, and to lessen the burden of remediation and demolition associated with brownfield properties. Funds can be used anywhere in the City of Madison, the program is targeted to certain areas including the East and West Isthmus.
- Capital Revolving Loan Fund:
While terms and conditions vary from project to project, it is usually 4% loan monies for redevelopment and rehabilitation of structures tied to business development city wide. Maximum loan is around $250,000. Real Estate Project is underwritten.
- Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) Districts:
A governmental finance tool that the City of Madison uses to provide funds to construct public infrastructure, promote development opportunities and expand the future tax base. Business loans can be made to companies from existing Tax Increment Finance districts throughout the city. Loans vary from region to region to region and project, and businesses must meet several detailed project requirements to be eligible. Underwriting criteria include financial gap, job creation, and major private investment.
Free research tools for businesses with your Madison Public Library card, including demographic data, business journals, mailing list generators, and company directories. Sign up for new book alerts, discover library services, and see business-related programs at Madison Public Library.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA's mission is to help small businesses start, grow, and compete in global markets by providing quality training, counseling, and access to resources. The Wisconsin office assists several hundred businesses each year by providing financial assistance through the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. A comparison chart of SBA loan guarantee programs is at
Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)
(WWBIC) is an economic development corporation providing quality business education and access to capital for entrepreneurs. WWBIC consults, educates and mentors owners of small and micro businesses throughout Wisconsin, offering seminars, individual business counseling, and lending programs.
Madison Area Technical College
The Business, Industry & Community Services department works directly with business and community organizations, providing training, technical assistance and skills assessment. A schedule of current workshops is at
Information on the Multicultural Business Resource Center is at
Thrive - Capital Connections Inventory
A comprehensive inventory of financial tools that are available for businesses and economic development projects in the 8-county Madison Region. The inventory includes over 350 financial programs available at the federal, state and local levels to businesses, communities, and nonprofits.