Schools also eligible for funding
Small businesses and non–profits in Stearns County have additional time to apply for financial assistance to help with expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The -Stearns County Board of Commissioners approved extending the deadline from Aug. 28 to Sept. 18, 2020, to apply for CARES Act relief payments.
The Board also agreed to reduce eligibility requirements and raise the amount businesses and non-profits can qualify for, from $7,500 to $15,000. From applications received so far, some businesses have had expenses exceeding $7,500.
Businesses that want to apply need to do so online on the -Stearns County website at http://StearnsCountyMN.gov. Applications will be reviewed by Friday, Sept. 25. Email notifications to each entity will follow.
In July, the Board approved spending $5 million in county CARES Act funding to assist small businesses that experienced interruption due to required closures as a result of the public health emergency.
Some cities and townships within the County are funding their own programs. Applications submitted within those jurisdictions will be forwarded.
The Board of Commissioners also approved using CARES Act dollars to assist school districts with unfunded COVID-19 costs. Up to $3 million has been allocated for the 10 school districts in Stearns County, including both public and non-public schools. Grants will be based on student population, with a maximum of $106 available per student.
Payments will be made to school districts for expenses related to the public health emergency that are not funded with other grants. This could include items such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), thermometers, plexiglass barriers, cleaning supplies, virtual meeting tools, computer equipment, and software for distance learning.
Stearns County received a total of $19.3 million in federal CARES Act funding.