Article By: Rebecca Charles
It is thanks to the generosity of institutions like the Hayfield City Council and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation that local businesses in Hayfield are able to continue operating through this pandemic. The Hayfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) was able to construct two separate grant programs, making funding available to all local business owners. CEDA team member and Hayfield EDA Director, Rebecca Charles, authored and implemented the two programs to local for profit and non-profit businesses. All applicants were encouraged to spend their grant dollars locally if possible to help stimulate the local economy.
The first program, the Healthy Hayfield Reimbursement Program, was created in an effort to provide the resources necessary to make doing business in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic safe for all existing Hayfield area businesses. The program was made possible through a $10,000 grant awarded by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). To date, the program has assisted more than ten small businesses in the Hayfield area. In addition to assisting applicants, funds are also requested to be spent locally.
While the extra funds were effective in providing PPE, cleaning supplies and other resources for doing business safely, many businesses were still in danger of permanent closure because of decreased business and temporary shut downs due to State mandates. With the help of Charles, the City Council allocated $30,000 for the purpose of creating the Small Business Retention Grant program. “It is extremely comforting to see local businesses getting the funding that they need to stay afloat” said Charles. “It is the job of every local government to do all that they can to safeguard their local economies”. Applicants only needed to show their loss of income or costs associated with the alteration of their physical location to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions in order to qualify. The Small Business Retention Grant provided necessary funds to more than a dozen local businesses through the Hayfield EDA.
All details regarding both grant programs can be found on the city website at hayfieldmn.com or by contacting CEDA associate Rebecca Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org.