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Grants available for Kandiyohi County businesses hurt by COVID-19, shutdowns

  • Updated

(Willmar MN-) Kandiyohi County & City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) began accepting applications last Friday for a new pandemic relief opportunity named Minnesota Pandemic Relief (MPR) Grants. Kandiyohi County received $830,000 in County Relief Program funding to help businesses as part of a $216.5 million bipartisan COVID-19 relief package signed by Governor Walz in December. Kandiyohi County MPR funds will be aimed at helping specific businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the most recent Executive Order 20-99.

“With a smaller pot of funds and shorter time frame, we are taking a tiered approach to making funds available,” said EDC director, Aaron Backman. “Tier I businesses will be our highest priority and includes hotels, restaurants, breweries, bars, cafeterias, caterers, wineries, bowling alleys, and for-profit or nonprofit gyms and fitness centers with at least a 20% reduction in sales from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020.” Backman also noted that businesses who received pandemic relief funds directly through the MN Department of Revenue (DOR) and/or who have tax liens against their businesses will not be eligible to apply. The MPR grant program information and applications will be available on the EDC web site by Friday morning, January 8, 2021.

Once Tier I applicants are granted funds, remaining funds will be available to Tier II businesses which includes businesses that would have received DOR funds for multiple businesses, if not for filing under one EIN, and businesses with an event center connected. Lastly, any remaining funds will be made available to Tier III applicants which will include businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits with a physical location in Kandiyohi County that had at least an overall 20% reduction in revenue from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020.

All applications must be completed in entirety and submitted to the EDC Office by 4:00 PM on February 17, 2021. Applicants will receive between $5,000 and $25,000 based on a number of key factors as outlined in the application forms.

“Due to the short timeframe, we encourage all applicants, especially those who qualify under Tier I to apply as soon as possible,” said Business Development Manager, Connie Schmoll. Schmoll and Backman stated that Tier I applications will be reviewed and awarded as received, while Tier II and III applications will be reviewed following the February 17, 2021 deadline and awarded on a first come-first served basis according to fund availability.

Answer to common questions and additional requirements can be found on the EDC’s web site at