Rock County small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic received $4.93 million last year through the We’re All In grants program, the largest direct-aid program for small businesses in Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation history.

The Rock County money was delivered through 1,137 awards. Some businesses received more than one award. In Rock County, nearly $1.32 million (172 awards) went to food services and drinking places and $815,000 (189 awards) went to personal and laundry services.

Funded by the federal CARES Act, the We’re All In grants were awarded to Wisconsin small businesses in three phases in 2020.

Starting in summer, Phase 1 distributed $65 million to more than 26,000 businesses around the state. The grants were administered by WEDC, with each receiving a $2,500 grant.

Phase 2 grants were targeted toward industries hit hardest by the pandemic as well as businesses that had not received Phase 1 grants. These businesses received $5,000 awards.

Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 grants were aimed at businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue.

In late fall, Phase 3, We’re All in For Restaurants, targeted food, beverage and amusement businesses with annual revenues between $1 million and $7 million, with each qualified business receiving $20,000.

In Janesville, the following recipients listed as “food services and drinking places” were awarded $20,000 in Phase 3: Cornerstone Grill, Cozumel Mexican Restaurant, Bloomin Apple Janesville, Janesville Operating, Janesville WI 2011, East Point Sportz Pub, Ilir Banushi, Italian House, OM Janesville, Hacienda Real of WI, Hhffrrrggh, Hewson Brothers WI, Mallon Enterprises, Gills Food Plover, MCDJ, Randys Funhunters Brewery, Degas Dogs, Macs Pizza Shack, Saalsaa Group Two and Fuji Yang Inc.

Barkleys received $12,500 in Phase 3 and $5,000 in Phase 2 and $2,500 in Phase 1.

Janesville Athletic Club also received $20,000 in Phase 3.

In Edgerton, Coachman’s Inn Enterprises and KDM Anchor received $20,000 in Phase 3.

In Evansville, The Night Owl Food & Spirits, Smmak Subs and Evansville Golf Association received $20,000 in Phase 3.

In Milton, there were no $20,000 awards.

Countywide, most awards were $5,000 or $2,500.

Janesville businesses received 480 awards, Milton 103, Edgerton 104 and Evansville 110.

Milton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dani Stivarius said Milton has many small businesses, which she called the backbone of the community.

Stivarius said the We’re All In and Paycheck Protection Program funds helped keep open businesses that otherwise might not have been able to survive the pandemic.