April 10, 2021

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Board awards $256,500 in COVID-19 relief fund

Grant County has been responding to and helping in recovery to COVID-19 since last March. It became apparent early on, that our local economy was a priority. Hardships were placed on many businesses and organizations as their closures were a way to help slow the spread of the virus. 

In 2020, Grant County received CARES Funds. At that time, the county board took a comprehensive approach to the federal funds allocated to the county. Understanding that the cities and townships knew their local businesses and organizations the best, the county developed a process to utilize their funds to help school districts, local health care, and the county’s general levy – which in turn helped all residents of Grant County.

In early 2021, the State of MN awarded additional COVID-19 Relief Funds to each county. The amount given was based on population. Grant County received $250,000.00, with an additional $6,500.00 for administrative costs. 

The Grant County Board unanimously agreed to use the additional $6,500.00, not for administrative costs, but to include it in the amount to be given to businesses and non-profits. 

The notice of relief funds went out in local papers, on the Grant County website, and the county Facebook page. The application deadline was Friday, February 5. The county board knew it would take some time to decide the best way to review, rate, and determine grant amounts. They scheduled two special meetings. The first one was to develop a review process. The second was to award grants.

Grant County received 76 applications. The total amount requested was $1,658,062.44. The county board had $256,500.00 to award.

Throughout the first meeting, many different approaches regarding how to develop a process to rate applications were discussed. The board agreed to a rating system, 0-5, 5 being the highest grant amount. There was also discussion regarding businesses that were shut down due to COVID-19, and the businesses that provide essential services to each community.

It was agreed that each commissioner would rate the applications from their own districts, assign a dollar amount for the grant award, and provide a short narrative about why they determined the rate/amount. 

After all the applications were reviewed by the whole board, there was time to either further discuss or debate reasoning, if there was any disagreement. This system worked very well. 

All 76 applications were reviewed. Considering the amount there was to work with, in relationship to what was requested, some applications did not get awarded Relief Funds at this time. 

The most common shared narrative was revenue loss and helping ensure that businesses stay open. All of the commissioners shared that they felt non-profit organizations were extremely important, however, they felt the emphasis should be placed on businesses staying open. 

After the first review of applications, there were two more opportunities for the full board to discuss additional funding for any applications they felt needed more. 

Commissioners did their homework. They had spent time talking to applicants, understanding the needs, knowing what funding had already been awarded, and worked hard to help those that hadn’t received any relief funds to date. 

The grant amounts awarded ranged from $500.00 to $25,000.00, and are listed in this article. 

The Grant County Board of Commissioners wants to thank the applicants for their participation. Grant County is working hard to keep any available grant dollars in our local communities.  

Here is the complete list of Grant County businesses or organizations that received funding and the amount of funding they received: Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre Company ($11,000.00); Herman Community Properties ($2,500.00); Skin Care by Lynn Marie ($3,250.00); Benny D’s Bar & Grill ($6,250.00); Endless Travels ($12,000.00);  North Star Retreat Center ($15,000.00); Ashby Axe ($2,250.00); Ashby Hardware ($1,500.00 ); United Lutheran Church, Elbow Lake ($1,300.00); Broken Paddle Bar & Grill ($4,500.00); Jo Jo’s Café/Ashby City Restaurant ($6,250.00); Ashby American Legion Post 357 ($6,250.00); Productive Alternatives, Inc ($1,500.00); Outside Data, LLC ($8,250.00); Darrel’s Full Service Foods/Chewy’s ($25,000.00); Jenna’s Salon ($3,500.00); Trinity Lutheran Church, Wendell  ($500.00); Ashby Senior Citizens ($500.00); Bethel Lutheran Church, Herman ($500.00); Bullfrogs Bar & Grill ($10,000.00); Barrett Inn 2 1/2 ($8,250.00); Prairie Air Inc. ($3,000.00);  Good Neighbors  ($21,000.00); Kim Intowne Styling Salon ($3,500.00); Prairie Ridge Fitness ($3,500.00); Sweet Blessing Reflexology ($3,500.00);  Harmony Lodge #230 Odd Fellows ($1,500.00);  Grant County Historical Society ($1,650.00); Linda Folken Salon Inc. ($3,250.00); Rumor Has It Pub & Grill LLC ($8,250.00); Grant County Herald ($6,000.00); Grant County Humane Society ($1,500.00); Long Day Inc, Knotty Pine Restaurant & Bar ($8,000.00);  Shades Salon ($3,500.00);  Ericka Smith Organics ($2,750.00); The Friends of the Library ($750.00); Tiny Tots Child Care ($3,250.00);  Kady Koep/Mane Frame ($3,250.00); Taylor Brekke/Mane Frame ($3,250.00); Grant County Agricultural Association ($5,000.00); AJ Enterprises DBA Main Street Galleria ($3,000.00); Bargain Bazaar Thrift Store ($1,000.00); Peace Grue Lutheran Church, Ashby ($500.00);  Hans House/Eugen Wittemann ($5,500.00); Meelee’s Art Studio ($1,000.00); Eden Reformed Church, Herman  ($500.00); AgClean Power Washing Services LLC ($2,000.00);  Second Chance Thrift Store ($500.00);  Church of St Olaf, Elbow Lake ($1,300.00); Church of St Charles, Herman ($500.00); Hoffman Econonmic Development Authority ($1,500.00); Elbow Lake Chamber of Commerce ($1,000.00);  Wonder Years Commuity Pre-School ($3,500.00);  Hair Fusion ($3,250.00);  Elizabeth Coleman’s Daycare ($3,250.00);  City of Herman/Niemackl Lake Park ($2,500.00);  Main Street Athletics LLC ($3,000.00); Deanne Jorgenson/Mane Frame ($750.00);  Olde Farmhouse Primitive Designs ($2,250.00); Lake Country Technology Inc ($750.00);  Beyer’s Tire & Repair Inc ($2,500.00); 

Total amount of grants awarded was $256,500.00.