Otter Tail County businesses and nonprofits hit hard by winter pandemic-related closures were provided $1.15 million in relief grants by the county.

The state-funded grant program was administered through the county’s Community Development Agency and provided grants from to 129 local businesses and nonprofits impacted by an executive order that reduced capacity and decreased revenue by at least 20%. The grants ranged from $1,250 to $15,000, according to an Otter Tail County news release.

Of the 129 businesses, 43 received $15,000 and 28 received $7,500, according to data analyzed by the Perham Focus from the CDA. Twenty-three businesses received $5,000 and 18 received between $1,000 and $3,000.

The grant program was created to support small businesses and nonprofits that have been directly and adversely impacted by COVID-related executive orders. The goal of the program was to stabilize those organizations and build a bridge from the challenging winter season to the hopefully brighter, busier spring and summer seasons, as the release stated.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Organizations that were required to close in November 2020 by Executive Order 20-99, including restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues, were prioritized for funding. Ninety-five of the 129 organizations funded were in this priority group, and they received 89% of the funding available.

The remaining 34 organizations that were not in this priority group received funding because they demonstrated a minimum 20% decrease in revenue as a direct result of a COVID-related executive order.

Grant recipients represented communities throughout Otter Tail County, with 17 of the 21 zip codes in the county represented, according to the release.

Click on the markers below to find out about the businesses and the grant amounts they received.

“This program made it evident again that our business community is resilient and dedicated to serving their communities. We’ve heard from many organizations that this funding will help get them to what we’re hopeful is the finish line of the pandemic," Amy Baldwin, Otter Tail County’s Community Development Director and Executive Director of the CDA, said in the release.

Amy Baldwin, community development director for Otter Tail County. (Submitted photo)
Amy Baldwin, community development director for Otter Tail County. (Submitted photo)

David Schornack, CDA Board chairman and director of business development and sales at Arvig, is optimistic that the grants awarded will help stabilize businesses and nonprofits as well as help them with continued investment and success in their communities.

David Schornack, director of Sales & Business at Arvig and an early initiator of Grow Perham. (RosaLin Alcoser/Focus)
David Schornack, director of Sales & Business at Arvig and an early initiator of Grow Perham. (RosaLin Alcoser/Focus)

By sharing information related to financial assistance, vaccine availability for businesses and workforce recovery, the CDA will continue to be a partner to navigate the road ahead.

Reach out to Baldwin at cda@co.ottertail.mn.us or 218-998-8050 with questions on how Otter Tail County and the CDA can support the business and nonprofit community.