In mid-December, the Minnesota State Legislature approved a Minnesota Small Business Relief Grant package to assist small businesses damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically losses directly resulting from Executive Order 20-99 signed by Gov. Tim Walz that forced businesses like restaurants, bars, theaters and gyms to once again shut down or greatly reduce access to the public.
Under the formula for the small business grant program, Wright County’s allocation will be approximately $2.7 million.
Businesses will be divided into three groups: those specifically earmarked for multiple small-business funding sources (table service restaurants, gyms, theaters, entertainment-related businesses, etc.); sole proprietor businesses that may only have one employee (hairdresser, barber, DJ’s, photo studios, cake bakers, etc.); and nonprofits and promoters of performing arts, sports and similar events in facilities (youth sports, county fairs, camps, etc.).
Vetsch said the biggest unknown, at the moment, is how many small businesses will apply and how many will be awarded grant funds for eligible expenses.
Each eligible application will be forwarded to the Wright County Board of Commissioners for approval and fund disbursement.