The Door County Economic Development Corporation specializes in securing financial assistance for businesses expanding or relocating to the Door County Peninsula.

We’ve worked closely with numerous local, state and federal agencies and have acquired the skills and contacts that enable us to help businesses in search of financial assistance easily cut through any red tape. If you are applying for a grant or loan, we strongly encourage you to contact us so that we can provide information and advice to strengthen your application.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has a broad range of financial assistance programs to help businesses undertake economic development.

Below is a list of some of the most frequently used available financing and incentive resources:


Wisconsin Early Planning Grant

The Center for Technology Commercialization manages a series of micro-grants of up to $9,000 (per small business) on behalf of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) for those starting or expanding a technology-based or research oriented business or a firm located in Wisconsin that relies on use of technology.

*Examples of projects eligible for funding:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agriculture/AgBio
  • Biomedical/Biotechnology/Medical Devices
  • Dairy/Agricultural Research
  • Energy and Biofuels
  • Healthcare Information Technology
  • Nano Technology
  • Water

Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) Grant

Provides funding for entrepreneurs to attend a course focused on determining the viability of their business. Coursework addresses legal and financial issues, staffing, accounting, record-keeping and marketing. In addition, individual counseling and coaching will help to complete the business plan and prepare to request financing from banks, investors and/or public institutions.

Each year, DCEDC co-sponsors an eight-week entrepreneurial training program course in Door County, taking students step-by-step through the process of researching and writing a comprehensive business plan. The grant covers up to 75% of eligible tuition costs; you will be required to provide a cash match of at least 25% of the eligible tuition costs. E-mail us to get on the mailing list.

Tax Credits

Business Development Tax Credit

The goal of the Business Development Tax Credit Program is to incent new and expanding businesses in the state of Wisconsin. The Business Development Tax Credit Program supports job creation, capital investment, training, and corporate headquarters location or retention by providing businesses located in or relocating to Wisconsin with refundable tax credits that can help to reduce their Wisconsin income/franchise tax liability or provide a refund, thereby helping to enhance their cash flow to expand the project’s scope, accelerate the timing of the project or enhance payroll.

Loan Programs

Door County Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund

Door County Revolving Loan Fund Program

Sturgeon Bay Revolving Loan Fund Program

These three local revolving loan fund programs provide low interest loans to businesses located in Door County for the first two, in the City of Sturgeon Bay for the third, typically for fixed asset financing of up to $250,000. Job creation of one job per $35,000 loaned is required. Contact Paige Funkhouser for more information.

COIN Microloan Fund

The Door County Community Foundation established the Door County Community Opportunity Investment Network (COIN) fund to stimulate economic activity and opportunity in Door County.  The COIN fund is designed to provide microloans (to a maximum of $50,000) to start-up, newly established and/or emerging businesses located within the County that might otherwise be unable to access financing through more conventional sources. The Foundation contracts with DCEDC to administer the Door County COIN fund program.

Lincoln Opportunity Fund (LOF) SBA’s Microloan program

The LOF Microloan program assists women, veterans, low income, and minority entrepreneurs and other small businesses in need of financing in amounts of $50,000 or less. Eligible uses for the Microloan include working capital, inventory or supplies, furniture or fixtures, machinery or equipment and payment of short term debt.

Lakeshore CAP, Inc. Business Incubator Revolving Loan Fund

Loans made from the Community Action Program RLF will be directed at participating individuals in small and emerging private business enterprise (any business which will employ 50 or fewer employees and has less than $1 million in projected gross revenues). The minimum loan amount is $5,000; the maximum amount per loan will be thirty-four percent (34%) of the financing needs, but not to exceed $20,000.

WHEDA Small Business Guarantee Loan

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) partners with local commercial lenders through their Small Business Guarantee program to help entrepreneurs acquire or expand a small business with favorable financing terms.

WHEDA Participation Lending Program (WPLP)

The WPLP is intended to provide Wisconsin businesses with financing that could not otherwise be secured through traditional lending. The program partners WHEDA with local community Participating Lenders, banks, credit unions, economic development corporations, community development financial institutions, small business investment corporations, and other entities that provide commercial loans in the state.

Small Business Administration 7a Loan Program

SBA 7(a) loans are the most basic and most used type loan of SBA’s business loan programs. Its name comes from section 7(a) of the Small Business Act, which authorizes the Agency to provide business loans to American small businesses. Maximum loan size is $2,000,000.

Small Business Administration Express Loan Program

SBA Express Loan Program provides streamlined process for business to receive loans of $350,000 or less for start-up costs or expansion. Loans can be used for a revolving line of credit.

Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program

The SBA CDC/504 loan program is a long-term financing tool for economic development within a community. The 504 Program provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings. A Certified Development Company is a nonprofit corporation set up to contribute to the economic development of its community. CDCs work with the SBA and private-sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses.

Small Business Administration Microloan Program

The SBA Microloan Program provides very small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit community based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000. The average loan size is about $13,000. Applications are submitted to the local intermediary and all credit decisions are made on the local level.

Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit

Wisconsin is well known for our manufacturing leadership. And because innovations in this industry continue to create a competitive advantage for our state, we provide specific incentives to manufacturers to maximize their production here. Chief among them is the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit, which virtually eliminates the tax on income from manufacturing activity in the state. The manufacturing and agriculture tax credit is available to individuals and entities for taxable years that begin on or after January 1, 2013, for manufacturing and agricultural activities in Wisconsin. The tax credit is available for income derived from manufacturing or agricultural property located in Wisconsin and will offset a significant share of Wisconsin income taxes. The credit is a percentage of “eligible qualified production activities income.”

Small Business Administration CAPLines

SBA CAPLines is the umbrella program under which the SBA helps small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working-capital needs.

Industrial Revenue Bonds

Wisconsin’s Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB) program is designed to help Wisconsin municipalities support industrial development through the sale of tax-exempt bonds. IRB financing can be used for building, equipment, land, and bond issuance costs, but not for working capital. Manufacturing includes nearly every type of processing that result in a change in the condition of tangible personal property. Manufacturing does not include activities such as feeding, growing and harvesting live animals. It also does not include the provision of recreational services, wholesaling, retailing, or repair services.

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