COVID-19 Response

Minnesota Pandemic Relief (MPR) Grant Program

The State of Minnesota has transferred to Kandiyohi County $831,645 to support small businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits affected by the Governor’s latest Executive Orders to reduce or close businesses.

Kandiyohi County is again utilizing the EDC to receive and review grant applications and disburse grant funds.

Eligible Applicants

  • For-profit businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits that can demonstrate financial losses. Applicants need to show a gross revenue reduction of at least 20% between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 compared to the previous year.
  • The business must have had a minimum of $20,000 in revenues in 2019 or in 2020.
  • Small businesses with up to 50 employees (Full Time Equivalents—FTEs). Employees for this grant program may be either W-2 employees or independent contractors.
  • All eligible applicants must have a physical, commercial location, whether owned or leased, that is located in Kandiyohi County.
  • All eligible applicants must be registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State and have been operating since January 1, 2020.

Ineligible Applicants

Accounting firms, auto sales, chain convenience stores, chiropractors, contractors, construction companies, dental businesses, eyecare facilities, financial advisors, food trucks/stalls, insurance agencies, jewelry stores, law firms, lending institutions, passive investments, production agriculture, realtors, residential rental properties, religious organizations, seasonal businesses, trucking/logistics companies and utility companies.

Application deadline is 4 p.m., February 17, 2021

See the Application form for additional requirements:

MPR Grant Application (Word format)

MPR Grant Application with attachments (PDF)

MPR Income Report 2019 & 2020 Comparison (Excel format–to be submitted with the application)

MPR final report of grant funds expended (Excel format–to be completed within 60 days of receiving grant funds)

Immigrant Business Disaster Relief Grant Program

The purpose of the Immigrant Business Disaster Relief Grant Program is to provide support for immigrant small businesses to close the gap for those with the highest hurdles facing disproportionate effects of disaster.


Grant funds are made available to the EDC from Southwest Initiative Foundation and the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund due to the Coronavirus:

  1. Applications are due to the EDC by April 15, 2021.
  2. Grants awarded will be between $500 and $750.
  3. Grant funds may be used for working capital, rent, utilities, taxes, etc.

Immigrant Business Disaster Relief Application-English

Immigrant Business Disaster Relief Application-Spanish

Immigrant Business Disaster Relief Grant Application-Karen

Immigrant Business Disaster Relief Grant Application-Somali

If you are unable to download the application form, one may be obtained from the EDC by emailing or calling 320-235-7370.

COVID-19 Business Assistance Loan (COBAL) Program (Program Ended 12/2020)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EDC created an emergency assistance fund for businesses that have been forced to close or significantly reduce their operations as a result of Executive Order 20-04-1 and Executive Order 20-08 issued by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.  The fund was recently opened for all businesses that were significantly impacted by the pandemic; a business not completely closed may be eligible. Funds are on a first-come, first-served basis. The EDC retains final authority to determine if a business is eligible or not, and whether to approve a loan or not.

Loan Conditions
  1. Maximum loan amount is $5,000. Applicants may request funding one time under this program.
  2. Interest rate will be 0% percent.
  3. Recipients will be charged a 1% loan origination fee, which will be due from the borrower at the time of closing.
  4. Loans will be for a maximum length of 24 months. Borrowers may prepay without penalty.
  5. Loan repayments may be deferred for up to six months.
  6. Repayment terms for loans will be determined on an individual basis, so long as the total principal balance is repaid within 24 months of the date of the first draw of loan funds by the borrower.
  7. Upon default of the loan, or the permanent closure or sale of the business, the loan immediately becomes due and payable in full.
  8. Loans are not transferable unless the transfer is approved by the EDC Board.
  9. Loan payment method will be automatic withdrawal (“ACH”).

EDC COVID-19 Loan Program Application

CARES Pandemic Relief (CPR) Grant Program (Program Ended 10/2020)

Governmental entities within Kandiyohi County received CARES Act funding from the federal government through allocations made by Governor Walz.  In Kandiyohi County, 9 cities and 22 townships, in addition to the County, received funds to disburse.  A portion of the funds were to support small businesses and nonprofits that experienced challenges due to COVID-19 and the Governor’s orders to reduce or close businesses. 

Several local government entities formed a coordinated program utilizing the EDC as the entity to review applications and disburse grants to small businesses and nonprofits.

CPR Grants for Small Businesses expired 10/29/2020

This grant program was available to small businesses with up to 50 employees and expired on 10/29/2020 after all funds were expended. Between July 28 and October 29, 2020 $2,259,500 was granted to small Kandiyohi County businesses.

Small Business Grant Award Statistics:

  • Grants were awarded to 231 small businesses.
  • Businesses were located in 10 different Kandiyohi County cities with 60% being located in Willmar and 17 different townships with the most being located in New London and Dovre Townships. 
  • Approximately 20% were diverse businesses.
  • The average years in business was 14.
  • The number of FTE employees affected was 1,073 with the average number per business being 4.6.
  • The average revenue loss was 60%.
  • The average grant award was $9,781 with the smallest award being $4,500 and the largest being $13,500.
  • The types of businesses were:
    • 42 barber/salon/nail salon/massage
    • 35 restaurant/cafe/bar/grocery/catering
    • 32 service, i.e. staffing/photography/interior design, etc.
    • 28 retail
    • 28 health, i.e. dental/eye care/chiropractic/fitness
    • 18 construction/manufacturing
    • 15 transportation/logistics
    • 8 media/printing
    • 7 auto sales/service
    • 7 entertainment
    • 7 hotel
    • 4 childcare

CPR Grants for Nonprofit Organizations expired 10/23/2020

This grant program was available to Kandiyohi County nonprofit organizations until October 23, 2020.  Between July 28 and October 23, 2020 $1,044,750 was granted to Kandiyohi County nonprofits.

Nonprofit Grant Award Statistics:

  • Grants were awarded to 38 nonprofit organizations.
  • Nonprofits were located in 4 different Kandiyohi County cities and 2 townships with 79% being located in Willmar.
  • The average number of FTE employees affected was 286 with the average per nonprofit being 8.
  • The average revenue loss was 36%.
  • The average grant award was $26,782 with the smallest award being $14,500 and the largest being $48,500.
  • The types of mission covered by the nonprofits were:
    • 19 arts/recreation/education/other
    • 14 social services
    • 4 mix of social services and other
    • 1 healthcare


The Mid-Minnesota Development Commission has created a guide for those in Kandiyohi County seeking financial assistance for childcare businesses.  Click on the link to access the guide Childcare Financial Assistance Guide.

Childcare Business Assistance Grant

The EDC has been working with many businesses during these uncertain times of a pandemic. One way we have assisted is by giving $325 to 88 home-based childcare businesses that are registered with Kandiyohi County to help cover their expenses.

Childcare businesses play a vital role in the early education, development and care of our children, and are very valuable to our economy and vital to keeping our residents in the workforce.

The EDC’s funds were increased by a $5,000 grant received from the Willmar Area Community Foundation through its Willmar Area Response Fund.