Through a partnership with Freeborn County, the City of Albert Lea, and Albert Lea Economic Development Agency (ALEDA) a new grant program was established to assist local businesses who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. In June, the fund was established with a combined total of $450,000 from the three agencies and in July the fund was infused with additional money from the CARES Act dollars received locally. Between both the original application period and the second application period, over 130 businesses applied and of those businesses 96% received a grant and $870,000 dollars was given in total. All businesses that qualified under the outlined requirements did receive a grant – only those who did not qualify did not receive a grant.
Grant amounts awarded ranged from $4,500 to $28,500 and amounts were based on how many employees the business had as of March 1, 2020. Businesses that were eligible to apply included small businesses of 35 or less employees that have seen at least a 20% reduction in revenue due to COVID-19.
Businesses who receive a grant must spend it on eligible expenses including mortgage/rent payments, payroll for new or existing employees, operating expenses, etc.
ALEDA is the local economic development organization made up of two separate entities – the Albert Lea Port Authority and Greater Jobs, Inc. If you are a new or expanding business looking for assistance, please contact ALEDA at 507-373-3930 or visit www.growalbertlea.com.