WORTHINGTON – The Worthington Small Business Assistance Grant is a go.
Worthington City Staff have been working since May to create a program that will allow the city to take allotted federal funds from the CARES Act and disperse them among the small business that have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday night, the city council formally accepted the coronavirus relief funding, which allotted the city just over $1 million for eligible COVID-19 related expenses. Nobles County received their own portion of the funding, and working together, the entities will assist small businesses in the area.
According to the League of Minnesota Cities, cities are not authorized to give grants, so the funding will be administered through the Economic Development Authority - $700,000 from the city and $1.4 million from the county.
Approximately 2 percent of the funding will be used to administrate the program – processing applications, getting the word out and translating the application and Frequently Asked Questions to several languages. Other cities and townships in the county can also turn their allotted dollars back to the county and partake in the program.
According to City Administrator Steve Robinson, officials with the city and county have expressed a wish that all businesses in the county be treated the same. Using the small business grant keeps the allocations uniform across the board with a three-tiered program based on the amount of FTEs a business has to determine the grant amount.
The application for the program, which was kept as minimal as possible, is available on the City of Worthington website at www.ci.worthington.mn.us/ and can be emailed back to the city at GApplication@ci.worthington.mn.us. The program opens August 15 and closes September 15.
The form can also be picked up and dropped off at Worthington City Hall. The application does include an affidavit that must be signed. Applicants will be randomly audited for authenticity.
Grant funds are to 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. Capital expenses are not eligible for this program.
Businesses that wish to participate must have an active registration with the Minnesota Secretary of State and be current on property and sales taxes. They must have 50 or less FTEs, and have experienced financial hardship as defined by 10 percent revenue loss or been restricted by executive order from operating over 50 percent capacity.