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 Disaster Relief Grant Program that provides up to $750 in grants to diverse businesses owners that have been in operation for less than seven years.
The largest COVID-19-related program is the CARES Pandemic Relief (CPR) Grant Program that provides grants up to $15,000 for businesses and up to $50,000 for nonprofit organizations that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and related closures. To date, the EDC has received over 230 applications from businesses and nonprofits throughout the County. So far, just over $1.8 million out of $2.5 million available has been awarded to 110 businesses and 26 nonprofits. More applications are in the process of being reviewed and acted upon.
With three-quarters of the available funding already allocated to small businesses and nonprofits, it is important for others to submit their application as soon as possible. “We need the public’s help to spread the word. If you know of a business or nonprofit that has been struggling, please have them contact us,” says Aaron Backman, EDC Director. We are projecting that funds will be fully committed in early October.