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Last-minute aid checks cut for 48 local businesses

Another revenue replacement grant is coming this week to businesses affected by COVID-19.

The Park Rapids City Council learned Tuesday about an unexpended windfall for local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mary Thompson, executive director of the Heartland Lakes Development Commission, reported that the HLDC found approximately $400,000 in CARES Act funding last week that hadn’t been disbursed.

As a result, she said, 48 businesses in Hubbard County will receive an additional check to replace revenue lost from March to June due to COVID-19 that wasn’t funded by previous rounds of aid.

Mayor Ryan Leckner and council member Tom Conway, who represent the city on the county’s COVID-19 Business Assistance Program committee, spent time just before the meeting signing some of those checks.

Thompson said reimbursements to businesses, nonprofits and places of worship totaled more than $1.8 million. She said she will report in January about what the county, cities and townships contributed and the number and locations of the businesses that received aid.

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She clarified that in earlier rounds of funding, there was a maximum amount of funding available to each business, but that some had losses exceeding that amount. “So, we went back and looked at those businesses that had losses over that maximum, and then provided another sum. Some of them still aren’t going to get what loss they had, but it’s something, and it’s right before the end of the year. So, we’re hoping that it’s really, really useful for our businesses.”

Thompson confirmed that HLDC took a small administration fee out of the fund balance but the rest went to the businesses. Undisbursed funds were due to be returned to the state by Dec. 11, and ultimately to the federal government by the end of the year.

“We were wrapping up and getting the final report ready, and looking at all of the places where the money was, and we went, ‘Oh! How are we gonna make sure that we keep that here locally?” she said.

“It should be a nice Christmas present,” Conway quipped, “considering they didn’t apply for it and they don’t know it’s coming.”

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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