Article by: Ron Zeigler
On October 20th, Jackson County awarded $948,345 to local businesses in the county through the Jackson County CARES Act Grant program. With support from Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA), applications were reviewed and 59 local businesses were eligible to receive funding. The maximum grant award for eligible Jackson County small businesses was $20,000. The grant recipients included businesses from a wide variety of industry types and included restaurants, retail, personal care services, repair services, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, childcare, entertainment, and nonprofit organizations. Businesses located in Lakefield, Jackson, Heron Lake, and Okabena were among the award recipients. The goal of this small business relief fund grant was to provide local businesses with federal CARES Act funds for emergency financial assistance needed due to the pandemic. These funds are meant to help businesses pay for critical business operating expenses and take measures to keep their employees and customers safe as they reopen.
Maddy Schwartz, CEDA Community and Development Specialist, shared, “It was encouraging to work with business owners and community leaders who are committed to seeing their cities recover and incredibly appreciative of this assistance. Many applicants I worked with were more concerned about other local businesses than their own. I think this speaks to the business community’s hard work and concern for others in their community.” Jackson County worked to prioritize this CARES Act funding for local businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic. The County and CEDA hope that this will provide some relief to the business community amid the challenges that we face. We acknowledge the resilience that all Jackson County businesses have had while navigating challenges in the past year!