Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission

EDC tallies $3.3M in local business relief grants

November 14, 2020

EDC tallies $3.3M in local business relief grants
The Coronavirus Relief Program [sic], which provided grant funding—and for some, a lifeline—for hundreds of area businesses and nonprofits hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession, has come to a close. When everything is finalized at the end of the year, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) Director Aaron Backman estimates the EDC will have doled out about $3.5 million in assistance. “That is a significant sum for us, it’s a significant

Willmar, Kandiyohi County continue to give relief to local businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19

November 9, 2020

Willmar, Kandiyohi County continue to give relief to local businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19
WILLMAR—When Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar began planning how to spend the stimulus funds each received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, both the County Board and City Council were clear where they thought the most relief was needed—small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the pandemic and related shutdown. Each initially transferred at least $1 million of its CARES allocation to the county and city Economic Development Commission which

Snow slows downs U.S. Highway 12 completion in Willmar

October 27, 2020

Snow slows downs U.S. Highway 12 completion in Willmar
WILLMAR—The early arrival of winter, or at least a sneak peek of it, has caused a delay in the completion of the realignment of U.S. Highway 12 on the western edge of Willmar, a part of the Willmar Wye railroad bypass project. According to the weekly wye update released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8, the new Highway 12 probably won’t be open for traffic until mid-November. It had been hoped that portion of the project would be complete by the end of October. Read

Take your internet speed for a test drive

October 22, 2020

Take your internet speed for a test drive
WILLMAR—One of the lessons learned so far during this pandemic is how important internet accessibility is, especially when so much of life is being done from home. Remote work, distance learning and entertainment have all jumped online and those households with slow internet, or in some cases no access at all, have found themselves struggling to keep up and stay connected. “This is important, people need it to work from home, connect with family members, do school work,” said Connie

Expanded Business Criteria for Additional $500,000 in CARES Act Relief Funds for EDC CARES Pandemic Relief Grant Program

October 12, 2020

Expanded Business Criteria for Additional $500,000 in CARES Act Relief Funds for EDC CARES Pandemic Relief Grant Program
Effective immediately, Kandiyohi County businesses that have been in operation since January 1, 2020 and can show at least a 20% loss in revenue in the first part of the year can now apply. “The CPR planning team approved adjusting the required revenue loss down from 25% to 20%. Several businesses applied that were just under the 25% threshold. This additional funding means we can re-connect with those businesses, as well as continue to get the word out to all businesses and nonprofits,” said

Partnerships Result in Poultry Certification Courses

October 5, 2020

Partnerships Result in Poultry Certification Courses
The EDC conducts strategic planning each year to set priority issues and focus the work of its committees and staff. The information we get from local businesses is imperative in our planning process. For the last three years we have had as one of our priorities, efforts to recruit, retain and train workforce for the area. We have worked on that goal in many ways, including the creation of a video to show the fun, food and other amenities available in our area. The video is available to businesses

Efforts to secure REAL broadband continue

October 5, 2020

Efforts to secure REAL broadband continue
Many rural Kandiyohi County residents still remain without access to high-speed broadband and the many benefits that come from having such access. The situation has never been more apparent than in the past months of social distancing, working from home and distance learning.    The Broadband and Advanced Technology Committee of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) is a committee focused on securing high-speed broadband for all people in our county. The

Supporting our businesses during the pandemic

October 5, 2020

Supporting our businesses during the pandemic
The EDC has been actively assisting businesses throughout Kandiyohi County since the pandemic emergency was declared in mid-March of this year.  First, it created the COVID-19 Business Assistance Loan (COBAL)  Program that provided up to $5,000 in zero percent loans to affected businesses. Second, in May, the EDC provided small grants of $325 to all 88 home childcare providers in the County.  Third, with the help of funding from the Southwest Initiative Foundation, it created the Immigrant Business

More than $2 million in COVID-19 relief awarded to businesses and nonprofits in Kandiyohi County

September 12, 2020

More than $2 million in COVID-19 relief awarded to businesses and nonprofits in Kandiyohi County
WILLMAR—When you add up all the money that has so far been awarded to small businesses and nonprofits through coronavirus relief programs run by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, the total is more than $2 million. Since March the EDC has established a handful of grant or loan programs focused on providing financial relief to businesses in the county hit hard by economic impacts tied to the virus outbreak. The programs include the CARES Pandemic Relief Program,

Willmar Wye Highway 12 bridge work moving forward

August 28, 2020

Willmar Wye Highway 12 bridge work moving forward
WILLMAR—Thanks to perfect weather last week, the concrete pour for the deck of the new Highway 12 bridge in Willmar was completed last week, according to the weekly Willmar Wye construction update from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Progress also continues on the Minnesota Highway 40 bridge, with pier construction concluding. Next up will be construction of the Highway 40 bridge abutments. Read the full article at the West Central Tribune.