COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Written by Vicki Oakes, MNbump Connector
Ortonville EDA & Big Stone Area Growth

This page has been in continual update mode since March 2020.  We have now taken down our local updates and notices and provided resource links that cover the current information and connections.

NoteWhether local, state or federal assistance programs, you can call Big Stone Area Growth & Ortonville EDA for help/questions on forms, where to start, etc.  please call 320-839-6155

A few of the latest special notes posted below, followed by the main links for connections.

NEW!  Big Stone County COVID Relief Grants 
$250,000 Grants Available, Application Due by February 8, 2021

NEW!  Didn’t Receive Department of Revenue Check?  Check out this information link!

PPP – Update from Vince of BSAG:  Below is the form (PDF link) that businesses can fill out and take to their lender for PPP Round 2. This form can be used whether they previously applied for and/or received first-round PPP or not. The one caveat for this round is that the business needs to show at least a 25% reduction in gross revenue for any one quarter in 2020 compared to that same quarter in 2019. There are additional criteria for uses of funds listed in the application materials. The borrower just needs to fill out the form and get it to their lender as soon as possible.  LINK:  PPP-Second-Draw-Borrower-Application-Form


12/15/2020 Update:  Vince Robinson of Big Stone Area Growth shares the following information – 

— The First Bucket – if you fall into this category, you should be receiving a check directly soon.

— The Third Bucket – Big Stone County will be receiving $250,000 for Business Grants.  Waiting on further details to report…

Legislature Passes Small Business Assistance Package with Strong County Role and Extension of UI Benefits

The Minnesota Legislature passed a $216.8 million economic relief package late last night with overwhelming bipartisan support.  Senator Eric Pratt (Scott County), one of the original authors of SF 31, described the program as a three-tiered business relief structure that targets “a fastest, faster, and fast way to get relief out to businesses, with counties acting as a ‘catch all.’”  Legislators had been meeting since the week of Thanksgiving deliberating how best to structure a relief package to assist many of the customer facing industries affected by Gov. Tim Walz’s recent Executive Order 20-99 as well as making sure unemployment benefits set to expire around Christmas were extended.  In short, the bill allocates three different buckets of relief funding:

First Bucket (“Fastest”): DOR Administered Payments Based on Business Type, Number of FTEs, and Sales Tax Loss Data  ($88 million). (handy yes/no on eligibility – Covid-19_Business_Relief_Eligibility_12_16_20)

  • DOR will identify restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, bowling alleys, bars, fitness/recreation centers based on their NAICS codes. Payments would go to businesses within these NAICS codes that had experienced at least an overall 30% reduction in sales from Q2/Q3 2019 to Q2/Q3 2020.  Businesses must have a physical presence in the state and be in good standing with Department as of November 1, 2020, (if they have filed all their sales tax returns–they don’t have to have paid, but they do have to be filed). DOR has until March 15, 2021, to get the funds out, but legislators expect the department to get funds out within a few weeks. Once a business meets the above criteria, their payment will be based on the following five tiers:
    • Businesses that don’t participate in UI programs (small businesses/sole proprietors), $10,000
    • 0-20 employees, $15,000
    • 21-100, $25,000
    • 101-300, $35,000
    • Over 300, $45,000

Second Bucket (“Faster”):  DEED Administered Targeted Grants ($14 million).

  • DEED will identify and provide grants to large convention centers ($5 million for convention centers 1500 and more, about 10 qualify) and movie theaters ($9 million divided by screen amount) that have experienced declines in sales of 30% or more.

Third Bucket (“Fast”): County Administered Relief Fund/“Catch All” Bucket ($114.8 million).

  • Appropriates approximately $115 million to counties based on a per capita minimum with a $256,250 floor. A county is guaranteed their per capita payment or the $256,000 floor, whichever is greater.  This amount has increased from earlier proposals that had a $200,000 floor.
    See attached runs for specific county amounts.
  • Counties can use the greater of $6,250 or 2.5% of the amount they receive towards administrative expenses and may contract with a third party (nonprofit or private firm) to help administer grants.
  • Counties may provide grants to for-profit and nonprofit businesses and can decide minimum and maximum amounts.
  • Counties have significant flexibility to decide eligibility and program guidelines but the business must be located in the applicable county.  One of the most important phrases in this bill is “counties shall use the funds to make grants to individual businesses and nonprofits that, to the extent it is feasible for the county to determine:”
    • Are located in the applicable county.
    • Have no current tax lines on record with SOS.
    • Were impacted by an executive order related to the COVID-19 pandemic (important to note that a grant does not need to be limited to the effects of the most recent EO).
  • Counties have the opportunity to provide grants to entities that received previous state funding/assistance.
  • The legislation is clear that non-profits, nonprofit arts organization, museums, fitness centers are eligible for grants.
  • Grants must be awarded by March 15, 2021.
  • Counties are exempt from specific grant management processes as well as the uniform municipal contracting law if they are contracting with a third-party administrator.
  • DEED will give a report to the Legislature on how counties spent the funds by June 30, 2021.

The relief package also includes language providing state administered business licensure, permit, and fee relief as well as an extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits (UI) for an additional 13 weeks with no charge backs to employers who pay the tax or reimburse the state.  Lastly, the bill includes language which would replace any general funds spent on state/county business assistance with federal funds should there be future federal aid packages sent to the state.    Proposals on food, emergency shelter and rental relief were also considered but not included due to disagreement between the House and Senate.  Expect these items to be come up once the Legislature reconvenes in early January.  The relief package passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 62-4 and the House by a vote 117-13.


12/1/2020 Info share for the Southwest Initiative Foundation (Scott Marquardt – always keeping us up to date!)

Apply NOW for the next round of Rural Relief Small Business Grants.

As part of our continuing commitment to elevate our impact in rural America, OneLISC is inviting small business owners in rural locations across the country to apply for the LISC-Lowe’s Rural Relief Small Business Grants program.

To find out more about who is eligible, to sign up for updates, and to apply, please visit the LISC website.

Rural LISC is grateful for Lowe’s generous support for rural small businesses. We are committed to the integrity of the grant application process and to the security of applicants’ information. A couple of things to keep in mind:
  • Valid grant applications are only accepted through the links posted on
  • We will never request copies of personal documentation such as driver’s licenses, passports, and/or green cards.
  • The application is easy to fill out, requiring basic business information – professional grant writing assistance will not increase the chances of selection.

Thank you!
Caitlin (Cait) Cain, CEcD, MUP
LISC Vice President and Rural Director

LINK to the latest information on Walz orders.

A good – all topic – compilation of links for businesses
COVID-19 Business Toolkit from the MN Chamber of Commerce

Countryside Public Health, COVID Resource Page LINK

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Resource Home Page

Minnesota DEED COVID-19 Information Home Page
Health Resources, Safely Returning to Work, Business Stories, Critical Sector Worker Exemptions

THANK YOU to the Big Stone County Commissioners (Jay Backer, Wade Athey, Brent Olson, Roger Sandberg, Erick Klepel) and the Ortonville City Council (Mayor Gene Hausauer, Ashley Berger, Jake Dorry, Mike Dorry, Paul Radermacher, Dustin Roggenbuck, Kim Sykora) for your AMAZING show of support to our small businesses in Big Stone County and City of Ortonville!! And to Big Stone Area Growth (President Audrey Rahrlien, Blair Johnson, Becky Parker, Jay Backer, Laurie Athey, Mark Kleindl, Erick Klepel, Steven Almquist) & staff for administering this program.




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