Crow Wing County commissioners approved a second round of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act relief grants to provide money from the county’s allocation of federal CARES Act funds to help local small businesses and nonprofits who have suffered financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Tuesday, Oct. 13, county board meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to allocate remaining funds to additional grants, as well as expand eligibility to residents applying for relief funds.

During the first round of grants, 182 small business applications were approved totaling more than $1.7 million; 63 local nonprofit applications were also approved totaling almost $600,000. There was almost $2.5 million left for additional grants, leaving approximately $2 million to be directed toward small businesses and $560,000 for nonprofits in round 2.

“Our board has been very concerned about the economic impact to our small businesses during the pandemic. We remain focused on helping them provide important jobs and resources to our community,” Crow Wing County Board Chair Steve Barrows said in a news release. “Our local nonprofits play a vital role in building healthy communities by providing critical services for our residents. We hope these grants can provide some relief during these stressful times.”

Businesses and nonprofits can apply for an emergency grant up to $10,000, based on economic hardship from COVID-19. The second round of grants has no employee count limit to allow businesses of any size to apply if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

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The latest round of grants now opens an application process to accept applications from any organization that provided free day care within Crow Wing County to critical sector workers early in the pandemic. The second round also opens an application process to accept applications from any public and private school for any additional unreimbursed COVID expenses.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 23. For more information or to apply, go to www.crowwing.us.

A special county board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, to approve the phase two business and nonprofit award recommendations. County commissioners will also consider and approve the applications for day care cost reimbursement and local school unreimbursed expenses.