New 2021 Business Relief Fund: Deadline January 29, 2021
Friday, January 08, 2021
Benton County Commissioners approved a new round of funding to offset losses for qualifying businesses and nonprofits located in Benton County. Benton Economic Partnership (BEP) will handle the application process that closes January 29, 2021. It is the goal of BEP to provide economic support to those suffering from business interruptions due to COVID-19-related mandated closures.
“BEP is committed to assisting the businesses in Benton County that have been so severely impacted by the Governor’s Executive Orders related to COVID-19,” said BEP Executive Director Amanda Othoudt. “Our community thrives on our small businesses employing our local workforce, creating tax base, and keeping money flowing locally. These new grants will help bridge the gap for businesses who have experienced a significant loss in revenues.”
Benton County is receiving approximately $787,399 from the State of Minnesota as part of the COVID-19 relief fund. Qualifying businesses and nonprofits may receive up to $10,000 for use on eligible expenses based on demonstrated need. Grant awards may not exceed the demonstrated impact on the business from COVID-19.
Businesses with 50 employees or less, veteran service organizations, and other nonprofits that have experienced significant financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic qualify. Benton County businesses that anticipate receiving a direct payment from the State, or have received previous grant funds from the county also qualify.
Funds may be used for rent or mortgage payments, legal fees, payroll for current employees, property taxes, and working capital and operational costs such as inventory, utility, and insurance payments. Funds may not be used for agriculture (crop or livestock production, etc.), purchasing machinery or vehicles, moving expenses, or land acquisition.
The 2021 Business Relief Fund grants will initially be issued to two tiers of applicants:
- Tier 1 includes businesses or eligible veteran service organizations that were required to close as a result of Executive Order 20-99 and that will receive a direct business relief payment from the state (veteran service organizations may be exempt from this rule). BEP will prioritize and expedite these requests in order to provide temporary relief to Tier 1 businesses while they await state payments.
- Tier 2 includes businesses and nonprofits that are not eligible to receive direct business relief payments from the state.
The application, full eligibility criteria, and required documentation can be found here.
Quick action is warranted because the application deadline is January 29, 2021 and grants will be issued on a rolling basis.
After all awards to Tier 1 and Tier 2 applicants have been issued, BEP will determine if additional 2021 Business Relief Funds remain available for distribution to local businesses and nonprofits. BEP will issue supplemental awards based on previously filed applications. No additional application materials will be necessary unless requested by BEP for clarification.
In the event of sufficient remaining funds, BEP may, in its discretion, issue supplemental awards to eligible Tier 1 and Tier 2 businesses and nonprofits that previously applied. BEP may also, in its discretion, extend or re-open the application period for awards to eligible Tier 2 businesses that did not previously apply or for eligible businesses that received a Tier 1 grant but whose state grant did not meet the full extent of their demonstrated need.
There is relief to be had. Explore your options and the process today at BEP’s COVID-19 resource page.