Business. Life. Balance.
City of Eau Claire Economic Development Division

Financial Assistance  

Good business is important to the well-being of our community. That is why the City of Eau Claire and the State of Wisconsin step forward to offer a helping hand to businesses that are creating new job opportunities, expanding their operations or bringing new technology to the City of Eau Claire.

Here is a listing of programs available to business owners. To apply or obtain additional details please contact Mike Schatz by phone 715-839-4914 or via email.

Credit Programs
Job Credit/Building Credit Program

Loan Programs
Revolving Loan Fund
Downtown Code Compliance Loan
Commercial Center Façade loan program
Property Assessed Clean Energy

Grants
Downtown Enhancement Fund
*Information coming soon!

Other Programs
HUB Zone
Infill Incentive Program
Angel Investor Network
Industrial Revenue Bonds
Other Resources

Job Credit / Building Credit Program (City of Eau Claire)

Eligibility: Manufacturers that will create new jobs are eligible. Eligible uses of funds include fixed assets; capital equipment purchases; land and facility purchase; remodeling and rehabilitation. Subject to approval by Eau Claire City Council.
Terms: $1,000 credit per $100,000 building valuation; $1,000 credit per each job created
Application: Job Credit/Building Credit Application
Request More Information

Revolving Loan Fund (Economic Development Administration)

Eligibility: Companies in manufacturing or service industries that will create new jobs are eligible. Dislocated workers who start manufacturing or service businesses are also eligible. Eligible uses of funds include fixed assets; capital equipment purchases; facility purchase, remodeling and rehabilitation; and some working capital uses.
Terms:
$10,000 loaned per each job created. Maximum loan is $150,000. The maximum term is ten years. Interest rate is 60% of the Wall Street Journal prime lending rate, but not less than 4%.

Guidelines:
RLF Guidelines (pdf)

Application: RLF Application (pdf)
Request More Information

Downtown Eau Claire Code Compliance Loan

Eligibility: Owners of property in Downtown BID, West Grand BID, and Water Street BID, and North Barstow/Medical BID. Improvements necessary for compliance with the City of Eau Claire/State of Wisconsin building codes are eligible for the loan program. Also eligible are changes to electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems necessary for code compliance.
Terms
: The City shall provide a loan equal to 50% of the cost of the changes and improvements required to correct building or fire code deficiencies, not to exceed $10,000. A loan under this program must be matched by an equal investment in related improvements to the building by the property owner or lessee.
Guidelines
: Code Compliance Info and Guidelines (pdf)
Application: Code Compliance Info and Application (pdf)
Request More Information

Commercial Center Façade Loan Program

The City of Eau Claire has created a Façade Loan Program to provide financial assistance to property and business owners to encourage the revitalization of old commercial strip centers in the City of Eau Claire. Find all of the information in the program overview.
Application: Download the application and return it to the City of Eau Claire Economic Development Division.
Request More Information

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

Eligibility: Eau Claire County is participating in this statewide program that enables property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation building improvements. It allows private sector lenders to provide upfront financing (usually for 100 percent of the cost of energy-saving improvements) to property owners for qualified projects. A wide range of property types and improvement projects are eligible. See here for eligibility.
Terms: The term should not exceed the expected life of the proposed improvements as described in the required Energy Assessment. For projects that include multiple improvements, the weighted average useful life of the new equipment must equal or exceed the term of the PACE Financing. Depending on the equipment installed PACE Financing terms are often made for up to 20 years long. See here for property owner FAQ.

Pre-Application to Verify Eligibility
More Information

HUBZone Certification (Historically Underutilized Business Zone)

Some areas of Eau Claire have been designated as HUBZones. To view a map of our HUBZone locations and information on becoming a certified HUBZone business, visit www.sba.gov/hubzone/.

Eligibility: A small business must meet all of the following criteria to qualify for the HUBZone program:

  1. it must be located in a "historically underutilized business zone" or HUBZone.
  2. it must be owned and controlled by one or more US Citizens
  3. at least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.
Advantage:
  1. HUBZone firms receive preferential treatment on Federal contracts.
  2. Eligible HUBZone firms can qualify for higher SBA-guaranteed surety bonds on construction and service contract bids.

Application: Fill out an application online at www.sba.gov/hubzone/.
Request More Information

Infill Incentive Program

The City of Eau Claire has allocated a total Infill Development loan pool of $200,000 to be available for down-payment assistance loans for the purchase of privately owned infill lots within the City for the construction of new homes. The money may also be used to purchase dilapidated properties in older neighborhoods where the intent is to remove the existing structures on the properties and build new homes.

The City has a small inventory of infill lots that may be declared to be excess properties. These lots may be offered for sale for infill development through a bid process. Under this Infill Development Program the purchaser of a city-owned infill lot may defer payment of the purchase price under the terms stated below.

Program Description
Application

Chippewa Valley Angel Investors Network

Eligibility: The angels usually meet with entrepreneurs or businesses with a service or product that will yield high growth financial results, and present a reasonable exit strategy.
Terms
: Equity financing. Most deals fall in the $500,000 range.
Application
: Contact Pete Marsnik at 715-878-9791.
Request More Information

Industrial Revenue Bonds (City of Eau Claire)

Eligibility: Must be a manufacturing business or operator of sewage, solid waste, transit or dock/wharf facilities. State volume cap does apply on a first come first serve basis each year.
Terms: Loan Program. Long-term bond issued by the municipality, backed by the company or project being financed. Fixed or variable interest rates are below market rates.
Application:  Industrial Revenue Bonds Application

Industrial Revenue Bond Guidelines
Industrial Revenue Bond Policy for Review of Financing
Industrial Revenue Bond Application
Request More Information

Other Federal, State and Regional Financial Programs

Links below offer additional resources about other federal, state and regional financial programs.

Financial Resources (pdf)
Finding Money For Your Business (pdf)
Selecting a Financial Institution (pdf)
The Grant Myth (pdf)