WILLMAR — In Kandiyohi County, the Minnesota Pandemic Relief grant program has successfully assisted 66 county businesses by distributing $843,754 in state-provided funds.
The county, along with the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, reviewed dozens of the applicants over the past several weeks, trying to help as many businesses as it could with the money provided.
“This was not taken lightly. We worked very hard to try to make it fair,” said Larry Kleindl, county administrator, at the March 2 County Board meeting. “There is never enough dollars to cover everyone.”
The program was established in January, after the county received just over $850,000 from the state’s latest relief bill, that included funding for business relief to be administered by each county.
“They thought the local government had more direct contact with what their business needs were,” said Kleindl. “What businesses were hurting the most.”
The county and EDC wanted to focus the funds on businesses that maybe had not received relief funding in the past or were being particularly hard hit by the pandemic, such as hotels, restaurants and event centers. Even with those tighter restrictions, there were still more applicants than funding available. To fund all the eligible applicants the county would have needed more than $975,000.
Read the full story at the West Central Tribune