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County EDA has dispersed $346,019 to businesses

By Staff | Oct 4, 2020

The Faribault County Economic Development Authority (EDA) continues to make progress distributing money to local businesses and non-profits through the CARES Act.

“We have used $440,737. 35 of the $600,000 which was allotted to us by the County Board,” EDA specialist Annie Leibel told the board members at their regular meeting on Sept 29. “We have not seen as much of a response from the non-profits as I thought we would, but we are still working on those.”

Leibel gave a rundown on the number of non-profit grants which had been applied for through Sept. 29.

“We have received 20 non-profit grant applications for $60,000 so far,” Leibel stated. “There was $198,000 budgeted for the non-profits.”

The business grants have had a better response, according to Leibel.

“We have approved $346,019 in business grants,” she said. “The amount budgeted was $355,000.”

Leibel reported seven businesses applied for loan forgiveness through the CARES Act.

The board also took up the matter of improving their system for holding virtual meetings. Members of the board agreed the present system is inadequate to meet all of their needs to effectively hold a virtual meeting.

After further discussion the board approved a motion to approve spending $696 of CARES Act funding to purchase and install audio/visual equipment in the conference room.

The items being purchased include a live-streaming web camera, a USB microphone and a flat-screen television with a mounting bracket.

Moving on to other business, the board also voted to seek certification as a Telecommuter Forward Community.

This is part of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) effort to promote cities and counties that agree to commit to coordinating and partnering with broadband providers, realtors, economic development professionals, employers, employees and other stakeholders to promote the availability of telecommuting options in their region.

Leibel also updated the board on the status of outstanding loans and noted the Courier Sentinel recently made a payment to reduce their current balance to $3,283.13.

In other business:

Leibel reminded the board to be thinking about updating the EDA priority plan for 2021.

It was decided to hold the next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 20, in person.