Second round of small business grants for Mower County scheduled to begin Monday

A second round of small business grants for Mower County is set to begin Monday, November 2nd. Applications will be  accepted through 4 p.m., Monday, November 9th. Round one wrapped up on October 22nd with 109 small  businesses receiving grants totaling $900,000. Round two will disburse the remaining funds.  

This grant program is made possible by federal CARES Act funds allocated to local units of government including townships, cities and counties to assist with expenses resulting from response to the COVID-19  pandemic. Economic relief to small businesses is an eligible use of these funds. Mower County received  $4.9 million dollars and assigned $1,000,000 to this small business grant program. Additionally Mower  County provided $250,000 in non-profit grants, $270,000 in school grants, $75,000 in utility assistance,  $20,000 in micro resiliency grants and $250,000 in special grants to individuals and families. The City of  Austin has also contributed $200,000 to the small business grant program. 

This small business grant program is designed to reimburse businesses for losses or additional expenses  incurred as a result of the pandemic. 

The county and city are partnering with the Development Corporation of Austin, a local nonprofit economic  development organization, to administer this program.  

To qualify, businesses must be: 

Able to demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Have expenses or losses that occurred between March 1 and November 1, 2020 An employer of the equivalent of 50 or fewer full-time workers. 

A business that has a permanent physical location in Mower County. 

Majority-owned by a permanent resident of Mower County or an immediately adjacent county Be in good standing as of March 1, 2020, with the Minnesota Secretary of State and Minnesota Department of Revenue. 

In operation as of January 1, 2020. 

If the number of applications exceeds available funding, a ranked selection process will be used based on  level of economic impact due to the executive orders. 

Businesses that received the $10,000 Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development  (DEED) grant program are not eligible. Also, any business that received grant funds in Round 1 is not  eligible. Applicants not selected in Round 1 may re-apply.