by Heidi L. Everett
Stearns County will be awarding approximately $3 million in grants to businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related requirements to slow the spread of the virus in Minnesota.
St. Joseph Community Development Director Nate Keller said this is exciting news.
“We strongly encourage all to apply regardless if you have or have not received any other grants or loans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The grant application opens Monday, Jan. 11.
Funds awarded shall be used for operating expenses that were incurred during the shutdown such as expenses for rent, mortgage, utilities, payments to suppliers, and other similar costs that occur in the regular course of business.
Priority will be given to businesses and non-profits impacted by Executive Order 2020-99 issued in November 2020 or to those that experienced a 20-percent or more reduction in revenue in 2020 in comparison to 2019 AND did not receive direct payments from the State of Minnesota through the recent Minnesota Business Relief Program.
Amounts of the grants will be based upon demonstrated need but limited to $15,000 per applicant.
Businesses must be locally owned and operated and have a physical establishment in Stearns County.
Complete details can be found on the county website at https://www.stearnscountymn.gov/.