Article By: Ron Zeigler
In December the State of Minnesota approved emergency relief funding to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related executive orders. Included in the relief funding package, they allocated dollars to each Minnesota county to distribute to eligible businesses locally.
Goodhue County enlisted CEDA to administer the program and aid in distributing $869,346 to nonprofits and businesses. The application window opened on January 5th to the public and eligible applicants could receive up to $10,000 if they met the criteria:
- Operating a business or nonprofit within Goodhue County
- No current tax liens on record with the Secretary of State at the time of their application
- Impacted by an executive order related to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Did not receive a direct payment from the Minnesota Department of Revenue;
- Reduction in revenue of at least 25% between April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020
- Not related to animal and crop production or passive/rental income.
Within the first week, 96 applications were submitted for review. The funds were issued on a rolling, first come first serve basis during the program. Overall, the County received 186 applications, 94 of which were awarded funds. 76 of the grants were business related and received $706,437; 18 were awarded to nonprofit organizations totaling $162,909
The impact of this program could be felt by CEDA team members Maddy Schwartz, Chris Giesen, Ron Zeigler and Laura Qualey from the many calls, texts, emails and thank you letters they received from the grant recipients expressing their gratitude and appreciation. Brad Anderson, Goodhue County Commissioner of District 2 stated, “Working with CEDA to qualify businesses and disperse the pandemic relief funds from the state went extremely well and the county was able to get funds out quickly and efficiently. CEDA Reps in Goodhue County and within the CEDA organization are always very professional and thorough in their work with the counties. Goodhue County has valued and will continue to value the long working relationship we have with CEDA staff and will continue to partner with them on future projects.”
The application period closed on January 25th but the need was so great that funds were depleted on January 19th. 65 applications were placed on a waiting list should any additional funding be made available under this program.