COVID-19 Response

Minnesota Pandemic Relief (MPR) Grant Program (Program ended 2/17/2021)

The State of Minnesota 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 utilized the EDC to receive and review grant applications and disburse the grant funds.

Through the MPR Grant Program the EDC assisted 60 businesses and 6 nonprofits; primarily hospitality businesses impacted by the pandemic/state-ordered closures. Recipients received average grants of $12,784 and employed an average of seven employees.

Immigrant Business Disaster Relief Grant Program (Program ended 4/2021)

The EDC received funds from Southwest Initiative Foundation and the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund to create the Immigrant Business Disaster Relief Grant Program, which was to provide financial support to immigrant small businesses to close the gap for those with the highest hurdles facing disproportionate effects of disaster.

The grant program assisted a total of 25 immigrant businesses; 17 East African, 6 Asian/Middle East and 2 Latino.

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 were 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 EDC assisted 28 businesses through this program.

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

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

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 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.

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