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2nd round of business, nonprofit relief available

Freeborn County is now accepting applications for a second round of financial assistance for businesses and nonprofit agencies through the COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. 

The temporary program was established to provide economic relief grants to local businesses and nonprofits adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to a press release, businesses and nonprofits that are eligible to apply are those with 35 or less employees that have been affected by or continue to show financial  hardship related to COVID-19, specifically as a result of executive orders since March. 

The fund will give preference to agencies that have not received federal or state COVID-19 relief funds. 

The county states all businesses and nonprofit agencies are encouraged to apply. 

The application period begins today and will close at noon Jan. 22. 

Grant amounts may be awarded up to $35,000, although that may change, and will be based on application criteria, including COVID-19 related expenses and business costs from July 1, 2020.

Freeborn County Administrator Tom Jensen said the county received about $599,000 from the state for business relief funding, and the count will distribute almost $585,000 of that after state administration costs.

The city of Albert Lea, Freeborn County and the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency have also agreed to provide $550,000 for business relief. The local funds will be used if the funding requests by businesses that meet application criteria exceed the total of state funds.

To apply, businesses and organizations that previously applied for a Freeborn County COVID Relief Grant will need to provide a completed and updated two-page application and third quarter profit and loss statements from 2019 and 2020. Those businesses that did not apply for the first round of relief funding must complete the full application process. 

All details including eligibility and grant use rules are included in the grant guidelines and application. To access the guidelines and initial application, visit: www.growalbertlea.com/covid19relief or request documents via email to contact@growalbertlea.com. You can also call the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency at 373-3930.