COVID-19 Relief Grants Given to over 100 Freeborn County Businesses

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


  1. Scott Adams on January 31, 2021 at 10:31 am

    It was good to read of ALEDA 2020 developments! Keep up the fortitude to grow this wonderful community!
    Is there a list available of what businesses applied for and what grant relief amounts were given to each.

  2. Bonnie M Townsend on January 17, 2023 at 2:42 am

    I am trying to sign up for the grant. Can someone help me please? My name is Bonnie Townsend. I have a business by the name of B&B explosive flavors llc and I am trying to locate my business to freeborne county! But I am in need of assistance to help fix the property before I am allowed to move in. It’s the new business location and I have a mobile food unit. I have created a dairy food gluten-free soy-free nut free superfood ice cream but I would like to bring to freeborn county! I don’t really know how to transition over but I’m trying to figure out the best plan to do so. The only thing I need is just help with getting my business registered with reborn county and also help with the property. I don’t know if you have any grants to help a small business? The covid-19 made it so that I could not finish fixing the property. My business had closed down temporarily because I can’t do both at the same time so covet has made it extremely difficult for my business too expand or relocate and I’m doing the best I can. I am a black woman disabled owned business owner

    • ALEDA on January 17, 2023 at 9:28 am

      Hello Bonnie,

      Unfortunately, this grant has ended and was specifically for existing businesses in Freeborn County during COVID-19 shutdowns. However, we are excited that you are bringing a new business to Freeborn County! We do not offer grants through our agency, but we do have small loans and gap financing loans available. If you would like more information about these loan programs, please reach out to Noelle Hagen at

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