Otter Tail County received $1.15 million from the recent state of Minnesota economic relief package to provide support in the form of grant funding to small businesses and non-profit organizations most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related executive order.

The 2021 Otter Tail County COVID-19 Relief Program will open for applications beginning Jan. 8, and until 10 am on Jan. 25, or until available funds are obligated. Priority review and funding of applicants impacted by Executive Order 20-99 who are not eligible for the direct relief payments being issued by the Minnesota Department of Revenue due to time in business or other factors will be conducted. Funding awards to other eligible applicants will be considered after the priority applications are funded.

General program guidelines:

Eligible businesses: Independently owned and operated for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations with a physical establishment in Otter Tail County who have been impacted by Executive Order 20-99 or by prior executive orders that reduced capacity and whose ability to generate revenue were impacted.

Application process: Access full program guidelines and online application at ottertailcountymn.us/covid-19-county-relief-program/. Applications will be accepted online through 10 a.m. Jan. 25.

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Award amounts: Grant awards will be up to $15,000 with individual amounts determined by demonstrated need, the impact of COVID-19 on the organization, number of employees, and other funding received. Applicants must submit required documentation and enter into an agreement before receiving funding.

Use of funds: Grant funds can be used to reimburse operational expenses including but not limited to payroll, commercial rent and mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, insurance and license expenses, supplier payments, marketing/advertising, legal fees, and personal protective equipment.

The county’s Community Development Agency continues to dedicate relief funding and resources to support local small businesses and important community non-profit organizations. The CDA encourages businesses and non-profits to apply for funding to assist their organizations as they navigate the road ahead together.