Posted: March 30, 2023

Eligibility Criteria

  • Be located in a RURAL part of the following counties (CORRECTED LIST on 3/29/23): Buffalo, Eau Claire, Jackson, or Trempealeau. We use a database from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine if your address qualifies.
  • Be in the early stages of starting a business (I.E., not currently in business) or looking to expand an existing business.
  • You must work with a Western Dairyland Business Counselor to create a business plan and financial projections.
  • You must sign an agreement stating that if you aren’t still meeting the requirements 90 days after the business start / job creation that you will repay the funds. 

Application Process

Interested individuals should email a brief description of their business idea to AND apply for 1-on-1 counseling. You must launch your business or create a full-time job by June 1st, 2023 in order to be eligible for this grant. Western Dairyland has a limited amount of funding to offer up to 3 grants. Applications will be reviewed on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS. The program is designed to help people launch or expand their businesses.

  1. Email Us
  2. Apply for Business Counseling

How the Program Works

  • After applying for counseling and being notified that you are eligible, you will work with a staff member to evaluate your business idea or expansion plans.
  • If your business idea is deemed feasible, you will work with a Western Dairyland business counselor to create a business plan.
  • Once a business is considered launched, the counselor you are working with will arrange to have Western Dairyland purchase up to $1,000 in supplies or services for your start-up or expansion. We can also reimburse purchases made by you. IMPORTANT: IF YOU CHOOSE TO BE REIMBURSED, YOU MUST MAKE SURE YOU WORK WITH YOUR BUSINESS COUNSELOR TO ENSURE THE PURCHASE IS ELIGIBLE. Your counselor will work with you and explain what is and isn’t eligible.  
  • If you accept the funds you will sign off on an agreement stating if you close your business or the expansion of an additional employee doesn’t last 90 days you will repay the grant funds. 

Things to Know

  • Funds can only be used for business expansion and start-up-related expenses. Whether something is eligible or not will be determined by Western Dairyland.
  • Whether starting a new business or expanding an existing one, grant recipients must create a full-time job.
  • You must launch your business or create a full-time job by June 1st, 2023.

You are not eligible for the grant if one of the following is true:

  • You are in an industry related to CBD or Hemp production or prurient in nature.  
  • Your business is seasonal. 
  • You are launching a side business (not primary source of income).
  • You are located in an area that isn’t considered rural by the USDA.

The Western Wisconsin Women's Business Center is a program of Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council (WDEOC). Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Agreements for persons with disabilities will be made at all times in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and associated amendments. Arrangements for persons with special needs will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. This Institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals.

Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council Small Business Administration