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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A second round of economic hardship grants for small Olmsted County businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic begins Thursday.

The grants offer up to $15,000 in assistance to qualified businesses.

The Olmsted County Board Tuesday approved using nearly $1.2-million in federal CARES funds to cover the new grant program. The county is partnering with Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. to administer the program. RAEDI will accept grant applications online through October 18th. 

According to Olmsted County:

The program offers grants up to $15,000 to small businesses physically located in Olmsted County that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically a 15% decrease in net profit or greater. Grant recipients will receive a base grant award of 50% of net losses from March 1 - June 30, 2020, or $15,000, whichever is less.

Priority will be given to businesses:

  • Directly impacted by Governor Walz’s Executive Orders to close.
  • That employ six or fewer people.
  • That are majority owned by military veterans, women, and/or ethnic or racial minorities.
  • That have not received funding from other government sources.

 Any business started before March 1, 2020 is welcome to apply. Home-based businesses and grant recipients from the first round of the program are not eligible. Grant funds received by businesses can be used to cover business expenses since March 1, 2020.

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