The Network Effect

Good evening --

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and our organizational efforts to inform and ensure an effective community response:


We have been working closely with local, state and federal authorities to coordinate plans, communicate best practices and share important resources as they become available. In a blog post today, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway discussed the city's partnership with the Chamber to ensure up-to-date information is being communicated with area businesses.


The Chamber, in partnership with Destination Madison and Downtown Madison, Inc., recently conducted a survey to collect information on regional employer response strategies being considered or already implemented in response to the global spread of COVID-19. The survey generated 441 responses from a broad cross-section of Greater Madison businesses, including significant representation from small business.

We will discuss the survey results during a virtual meeting tomorrow (March 19) at 2:30 p.m. Register in advance here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the virtual meeting.


Today, Gov. Tony Evers submitted a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to assist businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.

We strongly encourage businesses to keep track of costs resulting from the outbreak's impact. In the event that assistance becomes available, businesses with records will move more quickly through the system and receive higher payouts.

More details on the EIDL program can be found here. If your business has suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19, please fill out page 3 of this form and submit it to

Also today, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) approved Small Business 20/20, a $5 million grant program designed to support small businesses and micro-enterprises impacted by COVID-19. Find out more here.


Pursuant to an order by the Department of Health Services Secretary-designee, there is an indefinite moratorium on public and private mass gatherings with 10 or more people, with limited exemptions.

In addition, all bars and restaurants are ordered closed to dine-in customers, though many establishments are offering delivery and takeout services. A regularly updated statewide list from the Wisconsin Restaurant Association can be found here. We encourage you to support these businesses (and tip generously, if you can afford to do so) as much as possible.

As of 5 p.m. today (March 18), K-12 public and private schools and institutions of higher education must close to instruction and extra-curricular activities for the duration of the public health emergency. This indefinitely extends the closing of schools, which were previously ordered closed until an anticipated date of April 6.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the statewide order, click here.


Effective at 8 a.m. tomorrow (March 19), the state is ordering child care settings to have no more than 10 staff and no more than 50 children present at a given time. To minimize disruption to vital services, child care settings are encouraged to prioritize access to services to essential workers including first responders and health care providers.


As of today (March 18), Madison Metro Transit is limiting its capacity to 15 riders per bus. The city encourages riders to use alternate forms of transportation, if available to them.

There will be reduced service for Metro beginning on Monday, March 23. See full details here.


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