Business Assistance Grant Program

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Earth County has created a business assistance grant program to assist small businesses in Blue Earth County adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Blue Earth County Board retains final authority to determine if a business is eligible, and whether to approve the grant application.

Eligible business owners may apply for a one time grant in the amount of $10,000 per applicant to cover expenses for up to three months. Expenses may include rent payments, mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers, other non-payroll business costs and costs associated with reopening (PPE, plexiglass barriers, exterior seating, signage, supplies, inventory, etc.). Businesses must be able to demonstrate they were adversely affected by Executive Orders related to COVID 19. Property taxes must be current as of July 15, 2020, if applicable.

Funding will be decided by the Blue Earth County Board. It is anticipated that the first pool of applications recommended for approval will be made at the September 8, 2020 Blue Earth County Board meeting.

Application are being accepting until the funds are exhausted. Applications must include all documents as stated in the attached application packet. Below are the different options for submitting applications: 

Email: ckramlinger@blueearthcountymn.gov; OR

Drop box: located at Blue Earth County Historic Courthouse, 204 South Fifth Street, Mankato, MN 56001 (on the 4th Street side of the building); OR

Mailed: Blue Earth County Historic Courthouse, Attn: Courtney Kramlinger, BEC EDA, PO Box 8608, Mankato, MN 56002

Please contact Courtney Kramlinger at 507-387-8711 or ckramlinger@blueearthcountymn.gov with any questions or if additional information is needed.  

Blue Earth County Business Assistance Grant Program Details

Grants in the amount of $10,000 for local small businesses to cover expenses for up to 3 months. Grant funds can be used for up to three months of expenses which may include rent payments, mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers, other non-payroll business costs and costs associated with reopening (PPE, plexiglass barriers, exterior seating, signage, supplies, inventory, etc.). Businesses must demonstrate they were adversely affected by Executive Orders related to COVID 19.

Eligible Businesses
  • Locally owned (defined as Blue Earth and contiguous counties) and operated for profit or not for profit business with a physical establishment in Blue Earth County. 
  • Business shall not have more than 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and have less than $2.5 million in annual revenue.                   -  A 40-hour/week employee counts as 1 FTE. A 10-hour/week employee counts as 0.25 FTE, 20-hour/week employee counts              as 0.50 FTE, etc.
  • Business must have been operating prior to March 1, 2020.
  • Business shall be licensed in good standing and current on property taxes prior to July 15, 2020 (if applicable).
  • Business shall demonstrate they were adversely affected by Executive Orders related to COVID 19.                                                             A. Fully or partially suspended operations in 2020 due to an executive order issued by the Governor of Minnesota between                     March 16, 2020 and July 31, 2020;  OR                                                                                                                                                 B. Experienced a reduction in gross receipts of 25% or greater in any 30-day period between March 1 to July 31, 2020 as                       compared to the same 30 day period in 2019.
Ineligible Businesses
  • Home based businesses (except feedlot operators and child-care providers).
  • Corporate chains, multi-state chains (except those owned by a local franchisee).
  • Businesses in default conditions prior to March 29, 2020.
  • Businesses that primarily derive income from gambling.
  • Businesses that primarily derive income from adult entertainment.
  • Businesses that primarily derive income from pawned merchandise, tobacco or vaping products.
  • Businesses that primarily derive income from passive investments, business-to-business transactions, real estate transactions, or billboards.
Eligible Grant Activities 
  • Grant funds can be used for up to 3 months of expenses during the period of March 1, 2020 - July 31, 2020 which may include rent payments, mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers, other non-payroll business costs and costs associated with reopening (PPE, plexiglass barriers, exterior seating, signage, supplies, inventory, etc.).
Conflict of Interest
  • Any County Board member that may indirectly or directly gain financially from grant transactions shall immediately inform the County Board of any potential conflict of interest. 
  • If a potential conflict of interest exists, all necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the grant application is processed in full accordance with EDA policies, and local and State regulations.
Ranking Criteria
  • If the number of and amount of requested grant funds exceed available funds, businesses receiving prior state or federal assistance may not be recommended for assistance.
Grant Conditions 
  • Maximum grant amount is $10,000. Applicants may request funding one time under this program. 
  • Any processing fees incurred during the process of the grant will be paid by Blue Earth County.
  • Property taxes must have been current as of July 15, 2020, if applicable.
  • Grants shall be disbursed by ACH or check.