1/8/2021 2:22:00 PM County Board adopts new policy to award recent state relief monies
Chisago County is dispensing another round of covid-19 business relief in the form of $5,000 grants. This funding comes through the state and is being made available to applicants until February 8. Statewide grants will be $114.8 million and funds are divided out to business forced to close and then a sum earmarked for theaters and entertainment venues and then the county appropriations.
This Feb 8 deadline is flexible— and could end sooner if funding is distributed before this, according to Nancy Hoffman, Chisago County HRA/EDA Director.
The county receives $1,090,036 that must be spent by March 12 or it goes back to the state. County Administrator Chase Burnham said this week during the County Board organizational annual meeting, this pot of money is meant to be dispersed as efficiently as possible and standards to qualify for aid have been broadened and made simpler.
Commissioner Chris DuBose added that any businesses that were newly-opened in 2020, (he mentioned the Stone Inn, Chisago City) and didn’t have a full year of expenses history can now apply for this money.
DuBose also asked the County Board to consider making funds available for rental property owners. He said in the initial federal funding landlords didn’t qualify, but he saw nothing in the state relief guidelines that would disallow landlords from applying.
County HRA/EDA Director Nancy Hoffman said there are funds for tenants available and property management firms are good about letting tenants know about applying. Commissioner DuBose responded that he’s “not so sure” this results in getting money into the landlord’s hands, however.
The County Board agreed on designating $100,000 for landlords, revising the policy.
Applications are open now and are used to determine eligibility.
See the on-line form at www.chisagocounty.org. Fill in the form and submit it following directions on line or request a hard copy and mail it to 38871 Seventh Avenue P.O. Box 815 North Branch, MN 55056.
Some highlights of who qualifies for the aid include: there be no tax liens on your business, the ability to state how the Governor’s Executive Orders and the virus impacted your bottom line and expenses related to responding to the virus, and applicants must have a physical location inside of Chisago County.
Business owners do not use these funds for personal expenses.
Eligible uses in this round of relief have been expanded and now include along with payroll— rent, tax, repairs or changes to building for covid-related concerns, utilities, protective personnel equipment and other expenses related to covid that were encumbered from March 2020 until now.
The federal government talso has a stimulus/relief package of funding. The Federal Stimulus is expected to impact unemployment for Minnesotans. The MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development anticipated beginning payments from this funding as of the first week in January. “Official administrative guidance” was awaited at the state level as of early this week, however. For the most updated information go to the unemployment insurance website www.uimn.org.
Anyone receiving benefits from any program gets $300 per week supplemental payments in the federal package. Gig workers or self-employed get $100 per week supplemental to regular independent contractors collecting unemployment. The federal action extended benefits 11 weeks (PEUC Program). The state will put you into the program that best fits you but there may be a need for additional information or “special action” according to DEED news releases. Expect an e mail or letter if there is an update connected to your unemployment application.