Former Le Sueur Home Plate empty

(File photo/southernminn.com)

Businesses in Le Sueur and Nicollet counties are advised to update their information with the state in anticipation of receiving funding via a new round of COVID-19 relief grants.

First, the state will award grants with direct payments. On Dec. 14, the Minnesota Department of Revenue was authorized to distribute $88 million to restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, bowling alleys, bars, and fitness/recreation centers to receive direct payments from the state. A second round of direct payments will go to movie theaters and civic centers.

It is critical for businesses to log into their accounts with the state to confirm or update their information, because the payments are based on business type, number of employees and sales tax loss data. These state grants will range in size from $10,000 to $45,000.

To verify business addresses, log into e-Services at mndor.state.mn.us/tp/eservices/_/.

If you have questions about your business category or number of employees, check with Minnesota Unemployment Insurance, uimn.org.

These steps are important for business owners because of how the state will evaluate and notify businesses of the grants. “We will determine what businesses are eligible and their aid amount based on sales tax and unemployment records as of Nov. 1, 2020,” the state said.

Then, eligible businesses will be notified via their e-Services account by Dec. 31. Payments will then be mailed in early January to the main address on the sales tax account.

County programs

The Minnesota Legislature also approved over $556,000 for grants to small businesses and nonprofits to be administered by Le Sueur County, while Nicollet County will receive $660,000 for the same purpose.

Le Sueur County is continuing its contract with Next Stage, the firm that processed the CARES Act funds last fall. Le Sueur County has begun planning for distribution of funds, coordinating with the state of Minnesota’s Department of Revenue. Little details have been received at this time.

Business owners can look out for further information and updates about the county program in the Le Sueur County News and on the county’s website at co.le-sueur.mn.us/603/Small-Business-COVID-19-Information.

Utilizing federal CARES Act funding, Le Sueur County awarded grants (worth up to $10,000) to 56 businesses operating in the county this fall, with a grand total of over $500,000 in small business grants. The CARES Act funding ended Dec. 1.

Nicollet County Administrator Ryan Krosch confirmed the county will also be establishing a new business grant program, but it is waiting on more funding details from the state, and the Board of Commissioners will work out the specifics of the program, likely at a Jan. 5 work session and meeting.

Look out for further updates in the St. Peter Herald and at the county website, co.nicollet.mn.us.

Nicollet County had two rounds of CARES business grants in the fall. In the first round, the county distributed 69 grants for a total $609,000. In the second round, it awarded 20 grants for a total of $165,000. That's 89 grants and about $774,000 overall.

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