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Wisconsin Small Business Loans

All great business owners know one thing - that is, without capital, you cannot grow your business. If you are a small business owner in Wisconsin, you have probably come to the same realization. On this page, we will be looking at the different small business loans available in Wisconsin, as well as other resources that will help you launch and expand your new venture.

Written by Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk - Independent writer and content strategist, updated on 9/10/2021

At a glance Wisconsin has a thriving entrepreneurial community. Wisconsin has over 450,000 small enterprises and offers employment to about 1.3 million people. The average loan amount for new businesses in Wisconsin is $82,306, just slightly above the national average. This makes Wisconsin one of the best states to get a business loan.

Top 5 Wisconsin Small Business Loan Options

Below we list 5 of the best Wisconsin small business loans

1. Impact Seven

Impact Seven is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). They specialize in providing capital to new ventures in Wisconsin that may not get business capital through other means. Impact Seven gets its funds from public and private sources and provides direct loans between $10,000 and $5 million.

The organization is devoted to helping small businesses throughout the state to reach their full potential through new business loans, business expansion loans, equipment loans, new construction loans, inventory lending, and more. Any emerging, expanding, or existing “non-sin” business in the state of Wisconsing and some Minnesota counties is welcome to apply.

2. Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) 

The Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation is an excellent option for small enterprises in Wisconsin. However, their focus is to support ventures run by women and other minority groups and applicants from lower-income brackets. This is not a strict requirement, and all new businesses can apply.

The WWBIC is the state's largest microlender and also offers other financial resources and support. Applicants can apply for loans up to $250,000 and are guided through the application process

3. Summit Credit Union

Summit Credit Union is based in Madison and is the union with the most SBA 7(a) loans approved in the whole state. They have a solid track record, making them the leading credit union for SBA loans in Wisconsin.

You can apply for various financial programs through Summit Credit Union, including:

  • SBA loans. Summit Credit Union offers loans backed by the SBA government program, which are specifically designed to support entrepreneurs who might have a hard time finding affordable financing.
  • Term loans. Fixed-rate term loans with flexible collateral options are available to help Wisconsin-based entrepreneurs fund business equipment, vehicles, office furniture, and more.
  • Investment property loans. The union offers several financing options for non-owner occupied buildings, including apartment buildings, office buildings, single-family homes, and mixed-use properties.
  • Other loans. Summer Credit Union also offers real estate and commercial construction loans, business lines of credit, and more.

4. Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) 

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority provides financial assistance to small businesses and farms in rural and urban Wisconsin. Their goal is to stimulate growth in these businesses as well as creating and maintaining living-wage jobs.

WHEDA pairs with private and public lenders through its Participation Lending Program. Through this program, they can provide capital access to Wisconsin micro businesses.

Applicants can apply for up to $2 million in capital through this program. They also offer unique resources for those businesses in the agriculture sector.

5. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

If you are running your small enterprise in an economically distressed or rural area of Wisconsin you may qualify to apply for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's Business Development Loan Program. These loans are meant to help entrepreneurs in rural areas who do not have access to other sources of capital.

With the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, entrepreneurs can apply for a small business loan between $100,000 and $250,000 for a term up to 84 months.

See below a summary of the above information.

Summary of Top 5 Wisconsin Small Business Loan Providers

Loan Provider

Maximum Loan Amount

Repayment Term

% Interest

Impact Seven

$5 Million

7 - 11 years

5 - 6%

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

$250,000

6 - 7 years

5.5 - 9%

Summit Credit Union

$399,000

6 - 11 years

5.5 - 9%

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority 

$2 million

5 - 7 years

5 - 6%

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

$250,00

84 months

5.5 - 9%

Top Online Wisconsin Small Business Loan Options

If you cannot find a local financial lender in Wisconsin to assist with your required capital, you can look at these online loan providers. Online financial lenders have often come to the rescue of many small enterprise owners, especially if they did not manage to secure a loan with local lenders.

1. BlueVine

Blue Vine offers a very convenient invoice factoring loan option. You can apply for up to $5 million, and your credit score does not impact the amount you qualify for. This option is best used for short-term bridge financing. However, this can also be a great long-term option that improves with time as the relationship grows.

BlueVine offers an effortless online application, and you will receive an answer within 24 hours.

2. Fundera

Fundera is a very comprehensive lender that provides you with everything you could require to manage your business’s finances. This includes accounting software, payment systems as well as loans.

Fundera offers the best business loan rates as they collaborate with many different lenders. You do require a credit score of 550 to apply for this loan. Fundera is suitable for long-term planning and emergency goals.

3. Fundbox

Fundbox offers two different types of small venture loans. They offer lines of credit, and once you are a long-standing client, you can also apply for term loans. You do need a credit score of 550 to apply for a loan with Fundbox.

You can easily apply for a Fundbox loan and can receive up to $150,000 in pre-approved credit to use for your new enterprise. Fundbox also offers excellent software and customer service to make building a relationship with the lender easy.

4. Fora Financial

Fora Financial presents another financing option for Wisconsin-based small businesses looking for short-term loans or merchant cash advances. Through Fora Financial’s online portal, entrepreneurs can apply for loans valued anywhere between $5,000 and $500,000. For short-term loans, the available terms range between 4 and 15 months, while merchant cash advances don’t have any associated fixed-term repayments.

Fora Financial is known for its quick turn-around times, with the approval process taking no longer than a day, and fund disbursement - three business days after the application. In order to qualify, your business must be at least six months in operation with minimum annual revenue of $12,000; your personal credit score should be at least 500; and you should not have any unsettled or open bankruptcies.

Additional Wisconsin Small Business Financial Resources

Wisconsin offers many other financial resources to support the small businesses in the state. In some instances, entrepreneurs would prefer financial options that they do not need to pay back. That is where resources such as grants come into play.

Let's look at a few of the best Wisconsin small business grants

1. Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Agriculture is an essential sector in Wisconsin's economy. The Speciality Crop Block Grant Program is an ideal option if you operate within this sector. The preferred crops consist of tree nuts, fruits, nursery crops, vegetables, and turf-type grasses.

These grants range from five to six figures.

2. New Markets Tax Credits

New Markets Tax Credits are intended to spur job growth and investment in low-income communities in urban and rural areas. This project is a nationwide effort but is specifically a good fit for small businesses in Wisconsin. This program finances businesses through WHEDA (see more on them above) that provide tax credits if you meet certain requirements.

3. Workforce Training Grants

The Workforce Training Grants are an effort to help support small enterprises that attract, develop and retain skilled employees. They provide grants specifically for employee training. This grant focuses on training in technology, industrial skills, manufacturing, and business leadership development.

Businesses that receive this grant will need to provide their own training programs that are not currently available in Wisconsin. 

Other Resources for Wisconsin Small Businesses

In some cases, your small enterprise can benefit significantly from other resources that are not just financial. This includes training seminars, networking sessions, and business consultations. And since small enterprises are such a vital part of the Wisconsin economy, they provide many options for businesses to learn and grow. Below are a few of these resources.

1. The Heart of Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Boot Camp

The Heart of Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Boot Campnis an intensive training program for new entrepreneurs. This boot camp aims to provide training on basic skills necessary to launch and expand a small venture. Specifically, its goal is to:

  • Help the participants develop the entrepreneurial spirit
  • Train them in the basic skills required to expand a business
  • Provide support services of business operation and planning, venture capital, and marketing
  • Create networks of new business owners

2. Central Wisconsin SCORE

The Central Wisconsin chapter of SCORE offers free and confidential business advice and counselling, as well as assistance in obtaining business loans. SCORE volunteers are real industry experts with applied knowledge and experience, which can prove to be a valuable source of support for small business owners in Wisconsin. The counselors working for the organization are experts in areas such as finance, accounting, management, marketing, and business plan preparation.

Central Wisconsin SCORE also offers training workshops for both start-up and in-business entrepreneurs for a small fee.

3. The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA)

The Small Business Administration is a cabinet-level federal agency that aims to help new small business owners launch or expand their new venture by providing capital, counseling, and contracting expertise. As such, they assist entrepreneurs with drawing up a business plan, marketing plan, and financial management plan.

SBA is a truly valuable resource to keep in mind: since its founding in 1953, the organization has delivered millions of contracts, loan guarantees, loans, counseling sessions, and other types of assistance to small businesses.

How to Prepare for a Wisconsin Small Business Loan

You may be wondering how to get a small business loan in Wisconsin? Knowing what you need to apply for a loan can make the process of applying so much simpler. We will look at some of the small business loan requirements in Wisconsin.

Remember to have these ready to apply for a loan:

  • A Business Plan
  • Good Credit Score
  • Proof of Business Revenue

The better prepared you are when applying for your loan, the easier the process will be.

The Bottom Line

Wisconsin offers many different financial and business resources to the many small ventures in the state. You can easily apply for a Wisconsin small business loan through any of the above institutions. We have provided a range of local and online lending options, so you are sure to find one that meets your small enterprise’s needs.

There are so many options available to small business owners in Wisconsin.