The Polk County Commissioners have approved the small business relief grants to 126 businesses throughout Polk County. Grant amounts ranged from $1,000 to $25,000, with a total of $622,143 being allocated.
Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting said the 134 total applications were received with funds directed toward the businesses most impacted by Governor Tim Walz’s executive orders over the last year. “These are grants to businesses that were most affected by the governor’s shutdown orders due to the pandemic over the last year,” said Whiting. “The Cities of Fosston, Crookston, and East Grand Forks were each allocated pools of money. The rest of the county also fell into that, and the board approved payments to the businesses. I believe there were 134 applications that we received.”
Staff in the three largest cities in the county played an important role in awarding grants, explained Whiting. “The cities decided which of their community businesses would be awarded grants and what amounts,” said Whiting. Collectively, working with their staff, we did the rest of the county. We reviewed it with the board, and they were happy to approve it. We’re going to get the checks out as soon as we can process them.”
Whiting said while the grants may meet the full impact of the governor’s orders, the county did what it could with the funds awarded. “I think we all recognize it’s probably not enough compared to the impact of the pandemic,” said Whiting. “It was what was given to us by the state to do this. We did the best we could as quickly as we can. And, hopefully, this whole mess will be past us later this year, and everybody can get back to normal.”
Whiting also noted the importance of the county’s assistance from Fosston, Crookston, and East Grand Forks in both this grant process and the previous allocation of CARES Act funds. “I’ve been very pleased working with the City Administrators or Economic Development people,” said Whiting. “They have been wonderful to work with. I really appreciate it. There is no economic development staff at the county level, so their willingness to assist me has been terrific. And, I think they’ve actually made better decisions than we could’ve at the county level for each of the three cities and, frankly, for the rural communities in the county as well.”
The full list of businesses receiving grants and the amounts are in the resolution below –