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Waseca City Council continues to distribute CARES Act Funds. The funds can be distributed through Nov. 15 for small businesses or nonprofits in Waseca. (County News file photo)

The Waseca City Council continues to allocate CARES Act Relief fund money to local businesses and nonprofit organizations. The city received just over $680,000 to allocate appropriately for expenses between March 1 and Nov. 15, per state guidelines.

In July, the council approved $300,000 from the city’s portion of the CARES funds for the Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Grant Program in coordination with the county and administered by the Waseca Chamber of Commerce. The county contributed $500,000 to this fund out of the $2.2 million the county received in relief funds.

So far the program allocated $160,000 to various small businesses and nonprofits and continues to approve applications each week in special meetings from the city portion of funds. There is then $140,000 left in the program fund from the city’s funds to be granted.

The Waseca Community Arena is the most recent non-profit organization in Waseca to receive CARES Act money. Both the county and the city allotted $1,500 each to the organization for a total of $3,000.

Other businesses to receive funds are Pizza Ranch, The Mill, Subway, Zinnias and a list of other local businesses and organizations.

The Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Grant Program is still accepting applications through the Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce. Applications are accepted until Sept. 30 or until the funds run out.

This is open to any business or nonprofit in Waseca County with 35 or less full time equivalent, FTE, employees.

The amount granted to each small business or nonprofit ranges from $3,000 up to $15,000, based upon FTE count.

Some of the requirements to be eligible for the Community COVID-19 Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Grant are: applying organizations must have a physical location in Waseca County, be in operation as of Dec. 31, 2019 and be currently open for business with one or more full time employee, which can be the business owner.

A full list of criteria is stated on the application that is available on the Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce website, Waseca County website or City of Waseca website.

City Manager Lee Mattson said the city council will discuss a potential addition to the community COVID-19 Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Grant program for non-profits that are strictly volunteer run. The grants would be pulled from the same pool of money that is already set aside for the program.

The city used the CARES Act funds for Personal Protective Equipment around City Hall, city staff telework items, EDA reimbursement for COVID-19 Revolving Loans and a utilities assistance program.

The city has just over $74,000 left in CARES Act funds to spend before Nov. 15.

Reach Reporter Bailey Grubish at 507-837-5451 or follow her on Twitter @wcnbailey. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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