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Mower County awards $773K in business relief grants

On Tuesday, the Mower County Board of Commissioners approved $773,000 in business relief grants to 77 businesses located throughout Mower County. 

Priority was given to businesses with a 30 percent or more decrease in gross revenue (sales) when comparing Quarter 4 (October through December) of 2019 to Quarter 4 2020 and the total amount of loss.

Mower County worked with the Development Corporation of Austin to administer this program. The focus was relief for restaurants, bars, gyms, and other similar businesses who were partially or fully closed as a result of EO 20-99 as well as those indirectly impacted by those closings.

These grants were made possible through funding allocated by the Minnesota State Legislature to provide relief to local private businesses impacted by the State of Minnesota Executive Order 20-99, which went into effect on Nov. 20 last year. 
 It was clear in reviewing the applications that the amount of financial loss local businesses have incurred far exceeds the amount of relief funding available. It can be likened to the demand for vaccine; the demand far exceeds the supply. Much more business relief is needed. 

Congress is currently deliberating on a coronavirus relief bill that would include additional funding for state and local governments. If approved in its current form, Mower County would be eligible for $7,838,006. 

In a press release issued Wednesday, County Administrator Trish Harren said that as

counties like Mower continue to respond to the public health and economic impacts of the pandemic, the county remains dedicated to effective governance and the shared goal of keeping our residents healthy and our communities safe and vibrant.