On July 28, the Morrison County Board of Commissioners gave approval to transfer $408,000 from the funding they received from the state of Minnesota COVID funding to the Morrison County Rural Development Finance Authority. This is grant funding that can be used by businesses that have a permanent physical location in Morrison County. The business must be majority owned by a permanent resident of Morrison County and must be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State and the Minnesota Department of Revenue as of March 1, 2020, and been in business since Dec. 1, 2019. All eligible applicants must provide proof that they filed a recent Federal Tax Return and include it with this application. Proof for expense reimbursement or proof of disruption of business costs must be included with the application.

The wtate of Minnesota provided guidelines as to what are eligible and ineligible costs and who are eligible and non-eligible applicants.

Eligible costs:

• Grant funds shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 1, 2020, in the regular course of business. All uses must be exclusively for Morrison County operations.

• Business-related insurance deductibles.

• To repair facility or equipment at the business in Morrison County.

• Costs associated with business interruption due to government order mandating operations to cease or change.

Ineligible costs:

• Purchase of equipment. Grant funds shall be used for working capital expenses that occur in the regular course of business. The purchase of equipment is not regarded as a working capital expense.

• Paying back taxes owed to a government entity, including property taxes owed to Morrison County.

Eligible applicants are:

• A private for-profit business that has a permanent physical location in Morrison County.

• Be majority owned by a permanent resident of Morrison County.

• Be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State and the Minnesota Department of Revenue as of March 1, 2020.

• Employ the equivalent of 50 or fewer full-time workers.

• For profit farming operations. You may be asked for information that verifies your farm is operated for profit and is not a so called “hobby farm.”

• Be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to business interruption as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak or a Government order.

Non-eligible applicants are:

• Any home-based business, except for licensed child care providers.

• Businesses that received funding under the state Small Business Emergency Loan Program (SBEL). However, businesses that received funding through the various Small Business Administration emergency loan programs are still eligible for the county program.

• A business manufacturing, distributing, selling or conducting related activities of sexually explicit materials;

• A business that derives income from passive investment without operation ties to the operating businesses;

• A business whose activities are primarily focused on speculative activities that develop profits from fluctuations in price rather than through the normal course of trade;

• A business that earns more than half of its annual net revenue from lending activities;

• A business engaged in pyramid sales, where a participant’s primary incentive is based on the sales made by an ever-increasing number of participants;

• A business engaged in activities that are prohibited by federal law or applicable law in Morrison County where the business is located; and

• A business engaged in gambling enterprises, unless the business earns less than 50% of it’s annual rent revenue from lottery sales;

I want to point out that the only home-based business that will be allowed funding is day care. All other home based businesses are not allowed. Please do not blame the commissioners as this was what the state of Minnesota/U.S. Treasury is requiring.

Applications can be found on the Morrison County Website at: www.co.morrison.mn.us. They can also be requested from Community Development of Morrison County at mcdc@fallsnet.com. All of the county commissioners also have copies of the applications, so feel free to contact them.

If you have any questions you can also contact me at mcdc@fallsnet.com or call (320) 632-5466.

Carol Anderson is the executive director of Community Development of Morrison County.

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