September 17, 2020

St. Louis County's distribution of CARES Act funds for small businesses moves from Phase 1 to Phase 2

St. Louis County is transitioning to the next phase in the distribution of CARES Act funds to assist small businesses. The online application period for Phase I closed Monday, Sept. 14, at 8 a.m. To date, more than 250 businesses in St. Louis County have already applied for Phase I grants. Phase I grant assistance focuses on businesses and non-profits with 25 or fewer full-time employees, and is for COVID-related expenses incurred by the business such as for purchasing PPE, cleaning supplies, signage and safety barriers. Businesses may apply for assistance equivalent to $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $25,000. Any business still wishing to apply can access and submit the application at stlouiscountymn.gov/cares.
The Phase 2 funding application period began Monday, Sept. 14, at 8 a.m. and continues through Monday, Sept. 28. Phase 2 Small Business Relief Grants focus on providing emergency grant assistance of up to $50,000 to businesses and non-profits with 100 or fewer employees.
Phase 2 funds can be used for COVID-related expenses, such as PPE, cleaning supplies, signage and safety barriers; as well as for expenses incurred during or as a result of business interruption due to a mandated Minnesota Governor Executive Order shutdown or COVID-19 related business closing. These funds can be used to cover up to 50 percent of costs for rent, mortgage, and utilities. Also eligible are irrecoverable expenses incurred in the loss of business, such as contracts, events, bookings and cancellations, and similar expenses incurred during or as a result of business interruption. This includes payroll not covered by the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) or other funding programs.
Full program guidelines can be found online at stlouiscountymn.gov/cares. The online application for Phase II was posted Monday at 8 a.m.
"We are happy to continue providing assistance to small businesses as we move into Phase Two," said County Board Chair Mike Jugovich. "Throughout Phase One, we've been receiving applications from businesses throughout the county, the majority of which actually have 10 or fewer employees, so we know this funding is making a real difference in helping these businesses address unexpected expenses caused by the pandemic."
Businesses that already applied and received a grant through Phase I may also apply for Phase 2 if they submit new or unreimbursed expenses. St. Louis County has allocated $6 million in federal CARES Act funds specifically to help small businesses throughout the county.


Clerk Drobac resigns; Town Board appoints Debby K. Spicer to serve Greenwood as interim township clerk

by Anthony Sikora

The Greenwood Township Board of Supervisors met in a special session on Friday of last week to accept the resignation of Sue Drobac from her elected position as township clerk.
Drobac was three times elected to the clerk's office, but remained controversial through-out her tenure.
Her sudden resignation was also rife with controversy. In the resignation letter, sent to Greenwood Supervisors, she accused the board of creating a hostile employment situation. This accusation and her resignation came after the Greenwood Board of Supervisors unanimously, in July, changed the clerk's pay to an hourly rate, and reduced the township clerk's weekly hours to reflect a similar amount of time as is routinely spent by other Lake Vermilion area town clerks in completing their obligations, in comparably sized townships.
Although Drobac left township keys in the town hall office, a member of the Greenwood town board reported, when asked, she refused to provide computer access pass codes.
Greenwood officials have engaged Tech Bytes, LLC., an Eveleth computer repair service, to allow interim Clerk Spicer access to township computers. Greenwood computers were started in time for the regular Tuesday meeting, however the town board was unable to complete all its necessary work, and unanimously voted to continue that meeting on Thursday September 9, at 6:30 p.m., at which time the town board can again meet, complete its agenda, make its payroll obligations and pay its bills.


VFW donates to Friends of the Parks

by Robin Fisher

On Thursday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m., at the VFW, Friends of the Parks committee accepted a generous check of $5,000 from the Cook VFW. This money is for the development of the Veterans Riverfront Park on the Little Fork River in Cook. The budget for the project has increased to $33,000 due to the rising cost of construction materials. The committee plans to begin working on the park by October of this year. Darrel Lindgren and Dan Brinker of the VFW presented the check to Friends of the Parks members James and Jeannie Taylor, Carrolle Wood, Diane Brunner and Tammy Palmer. Friends of the Parks are very excited about this project. They are very grateful for every donation, big or small, and thankful for all of the community support.
The Friends of the Parks continue to receive funds from area businesses and organizations to be used toward the Veterans Riverfront Park project in Cook. They are applying for a grant from the IRRRB that will require these matching funds. The group hopes to start some early construction by October, such as clearing riverbank brush. Pictured above, members of the Timberwolves Snowmobile Club present a check for $400 to the Friends of the Parks. Left to right: Brad Simpson, Gary Palmer and Shirley Baumgartner of the Timberwolves, Carrolle Wood, Jeannie Taylor, Valerie Annen and Tammy Palmer of the Friends of the Parks.


 

Pick up this week's paper for more stories and pictures...

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