Article by: Rebecca Charles
The Hayfield Economic Development Authority was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) for the purpose of administrating the Healthy Hayfield Supply Reimbursement Grant Program. The primary objective of the program is to provide the resources necessary to make doing business in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic safe for all existing Hayfield area businesses. Existing businesses will include both non-profit and for-profit businesses and organizations. Businesses meeting project guidelines will be reimbursed for approved purchases related to the pandemic. In addition to assisting applicants, funds are also requested to be spent locally.
After hearing first-hand about the struggles many of our local businesses are facing, CEDA team member serving the Hayfield contract, Rebecca Charles started to look for ways to help. Charles created the Healthy Hayfield Supply Reimbursement Grant Program with the intention to provide funding for area businesses to offset the costs of required PPE, cleaning supplies and equipment. “This is a different time for all of us, but we have to keep small businesses going even with the extra costs for PPE and other supplies” says Charles. “This program has the potential to help a number of businesses with those extra costs”. It is never easy to find funds for local programming, so a search began. The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation has many great programs and partners who are committed helping the smaller communities in Minnesota. Charles wrote a grant application for the organization’s Small Town Grant to fund the program. In addition, she authored and submitted a second application on behalf of Lanesboro for their Stay Safe Resource Grant Program. Both projects were awarded, receiving $10,000 each.
Funding for the Healthy Hayfield Reimbursement Grant Program will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, following a review of applications by the EDA board. It is the hope for both of these programs that a majority of these funds can be spent locally.