COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

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

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

Program & Application for the Big Stone County CARES Funding has now been posted CLICK FOR INFO

8/24/2020 Housing Assistance Program has launched.

The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program provides housing assistance payment to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners.

Visit the website for more information:

To see if your income(s) qualify, see below

8/6/2020 – Bridge to Benefits.  LINK:
Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota shares the concerns of Minnesota families as we face this crisis created by COVID-19. The federal and state government along with the non-profit and business communities are working together to bring additional resources and supports to children and families as quickly as possible. To help communicate this evolving information, CDF-MN will use Bridge to Benefits as a Bulletin Board to list resources. During this time, Bridge to Benefits can still be used to help assess eligibility for public programs. The screening tool has been adapted to help you understand how unemployment income and pandemic stimulus payments affect your eligibility for these public programs. You should use this screening tool whenever your income or household circumstances change. Click the green Start button below to begin a screen.

Bridge to Benefits is a project by Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota to improve the well-being of families and individuals by linking them to public work support programs and tax credits. By answering a few simple questions, you will be able to see if you or someone else may be eligible for public work support programs. We will NOT ask you for information that identifies you.
It’s easy, confidential, and free! use the link above for info!



The new Mask Mandate goes into effect beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 23rd.  This link has a nicely laid out bullet point list on what it means along with a link directly to Gov. Tim Walt’s executive order.  CLICK HERE, LINK

The Cities, Counties, and Townships are each in the process of receiving their appropriated funding and are working through the needs and building guidelines for the use of this funding.  We want to thank all of the businesses that took the time to complete our survey to help identify the business needs across the County – Vince Robinson of Big Stone Area Growth has used that information to present the needs and request a portion of that funding to be used for grants to businesses.  (The fund, created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is designed to provide economic help to entities struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic – The local governments can use the funding to support services and grants to businesses, hospitals, and individuals impacted by the pandemic.)  WE WILL PROVIDE AN UPDATE ONCE THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HAVE MADE A DETERMINATION ON HOW THE FUNDING WILL BE DISTRIBUTED.

LINK to Daycare Resource…

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 23. To apply for these funds, providers must fill out an online application using an individualized link that they will receive via email from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) on July 15.

  • Licensed family child care providers will receive up to $1,200 per month for July, August, and September
  • Licensed centers will receive up to $8,500 per month for July, August, and September
  • Certain certified centers will receive up to $8,500 per month in July and August. Eligible certified centers include nonprofit programs that primarily provide care for school-age children year-round, but full time in the summer months, and are certified to participate in the Child Care Assistance Program for families with low incomes.

All eligible providers who apply will receive funds.

A few July 2nd updated resources for your view…

Transforming Workplaces for a COVID-19 world & beyond – Policies & Procedures, Communications, Controls & Operations
LINK to the Checklist

July 17th Webinar:  Join Taft Law for our upcoming webinar to learn of OSHA and CDC guidance outlining practical ways employers can protect their workplaces from potential health risks created by the coronavirus, and respond in the event of a coronavirus infection in the workplace and resulting workers’ compensation claims. — Registration LINK:

Running low on PPE funds?  This link provides a list of resources with a nice summary on each option:  LINK to Article

LINK to grant info & application deadline is Thursday, July 2nd:

More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic-cultural emphasis

The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards.

Here is a link to a SBA press release announcing revised forms and guidelines for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness:
Note that there is now an EZ form that almost all of our local businesses will qualify to use. It requires much less documentation and is a much shorter form!

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Loan Advance are once again open to all businesses. It had been closed for a time to all except agricultural producers and related businesses.

(Thank you to Vince Robinson of Big Stone Area Growth for updates! – call Vince at 507-530-1756 with any questions.)


6/16/2020.  Taft Law has provided a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Toolkit.  You’ll find resource links listed first.  Scroll down further for the topics of Business, Construction, Distressed Companies, Education, Employment, Entertainment, Environmental… further down for Health Care… Litigation, Privacy, and Data Security – and more.


Amid daily news about COVID-19, individuals and employers are seeking advice on preparing their businesses and leading employees through coronavirus-related implications.
Taft’s multi-disciplinary COVID-19 Toolkit addresses client questions and provides ongoing updates and analysis as the virus and its aftermath unfold.
You’ll see recently reported info links (with dates) first.  Scroll further down and you’ll find the staple links to all the agencies’ main COVID-19 assistance pages.

6/5/2020 Updates – Safely Returning to work – the New guidance documents.


Latest updates by category – Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening

Child Care Grant – Reminder, June 15, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Deadline

Whether or not a child care program received a grant in the previous rounds, they still need to complete a new application for Round Three. Grants are awarded based on priorities outlined in the legislation, NOT on a first-come-first-serve basis, so please take time to fill out the application carefully.

The deadline to apply is Monday, June 15, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Applicants will be notified of their grant award or denial by June 19, 2020 via the email address used in their application.

Recipients will receive their funding after the completion and return of final paperwork. Instructions for completing this step will be provided with the award notification.  LINK to information & application

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program – Signup runs from May 26 – August 28 (watch video below) – and following FarmersGov Facebook page (LINK)

5/18 Updated:  SBA and Treasury Release Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application.  (LINK to info & application)

the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.

The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.

Please complete this survey!
LINK:  Please complete the COVID-19 Impact Survey
We are seeking to understand how COVID-19 is impacting businesses throughout Big Stone County.  The information will be used to better support businesses and to inform the development of short and long term recovery resources.  Note:  Individual responses will be held in confidence and not disclosed other than in a summary report of all responses

The BEST resources for daily local announcements, stories…
KDIO 1350 AM – all the latest local news on-air & online!
and a subscription to our local newspapers Ortonville Independent & the Northern Star!

Ortonville Area Health Service

Prairie Five COVID-19 Update

Big Stone County COVID Info & Links

Minnesota COVID-19 Main Resource Page

Governor COVID-19 News Links

COVID-19 Dashboard:  Data on Minnesota Cases

Minnesota Department of Health


See resource links below – 

LOCAL ASSISTANCE:  $5,000 Emergency Loan Funds

24 month, zero percent interest, first payment due in 6 months.  Available through Big Stone Area Growth or the Ortonville EDA.  Link for Info & Forms

Looking at reopening or bringing remote employees back?  Here are some safety plan guidelines and sample templates to personalize for your use –

Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants

The Department of Human Services, Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, and Child Care Aware of Minnesota are working together to distribute funds appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature. The first round of Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants totaling $9.8 million was awarded on April 20. Applications for the second round are currently being accepted from Tuesday, May 5 through Tuesday, May 12 at 5:00 p.m. Find details at Child Care Aware. Whether or not a child care program received a grant in Round One, they still need to complete a new application for Round Two.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Thanks to a concerted effort by the state of Minnesota and the SBA to contain the economic impact of Coronavirus, the state’s small businesses are now eligible for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and can apply for a loan online

  • This program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
  • The current interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75%.
  • These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.
  • Need help filling out the application? Access these step-by-step instructions

Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program

Southwest Initiative Foundation is a Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program certified lender.

Following Executive Order 20-15, DEED has established a loan program to assist small businesses directly and adversely affected and whose industry is named in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 following the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are a vital part of Minnesota’s economy and this program will provide a source of working capital to help businesses sustain operations during this challenging time.

Find the application materials on DEED’s website. Nonprofits are not eligible for this program.

Loan Training for COVID-19 Related Economic Disruptions

Join a webinar to learn more about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, including program eligibility, use of proceeds, terms, filing requirements, additional small business resources. The SBA’s Minnesota District Office will be hosting these twice a day until demand is met. After registering you will receive the Skype webinar log in information.

Visit for webinar dates and information on other resources available to help small businesses during this challenging time.

Info from SBA, Partners and Sister Agencies

Southwest Initiative Foundation continues to share additional resources as they become available. This is not an all-inclusive list, and we will add resources as they become available.

Southwest Initiative Foundation 

  • Southwest Initiative Foundation is offering deferments for all current business loan clients. If you have questions about your SWIF loan, please connect with our team member you typically work with. You can also reach out to our Entrepreneurship Finance Specialist Selina Berning at (320) 583-0162

Local Partner Info

Federal Program Info

Below… NEW $5,000 Grant opportunity with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce



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