Many small businesses in Otter Tail County have been directly and adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The county recognizes that these small businesses need financial support to assist with operating expenses and costs incurred to reopen safely and adapt business practices to ensure worker and customer safety during the pandemic.  Program guidelines and the online application are available now through Sept. 30.

The purpose of the Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund is to provide emergency financial assistance to small businesses located in Otter Tail County who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the program is to assist and stabilize businesses through this economic crisis.

General program guidelines:

Terms: Funding up to $10,000 with additional consideration for the hospitality industry.

Use of funds: Payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers, or other critical non-payroll business expenses including, but not limited to expenses related to re-opening, necessary facility and technology improvements and personal protective equipment.

Eligible businesses: Independently owned and operated for-profit businesses with a physical establishment in Otter Tail County or owned by a resident of Otter Tail County if a home-based business. Visit the website for complete eligibility list. ottertailcountymn.us/cares.

Application process: Access full program guidelines and online application at ottertailcountymn.us/cares. Applications will be accepted online now through 4 p.m. on Sept. 30.

Award amounts:  The award amount will be determined by demonstrated need, number of employees and fund availability. Maximum awards will be up to $10,000 with potential additional support for hospitality-related businesses (food, beverage, lodging). Upon award, applicants must submit required documentation and enter into an agreement before receiving funding.

The county has dedicated millions of dollars to support local small businesses. The county continues to support businesses as they ensure worker and customer safety during the pandemic.

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