County launches new web page, finalizes other details for those applying for CARES Act funds

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 Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 726-2450 •

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator



August 20, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


County launches new web page, announces next steps for businesses, organizations and individuals to apply for COVID-19 relief grants

With $12 million ready to distribute to small businesses, community organizations and individuals in need resulting from the pandemic, St. Louis County is finalizing the process and schedule to make it as easy as possible for people to apply for and receive an assistance grant. The county has launched a new web page: where people interested in applying can find more information about eligibility requirements and how the funds can be used, the timeline, and how to apply. 


"This pandemic has been devastating for many of our citizens and small businesses," said County Board Chair Mike Jugovich. "On behalf of the Board, I am pleased that we can offer this assistance to help those who are hurting. While we can't fill the gap for everyone, we're working hard to distribute this money as quickly and fairly as possible to make a positive difference."


The St. Louis County Board earlier this month unanimously approved a plan to distribute the $24.5 million in federal CARES Act funds that the county received. This includes giving $6 million to local small businesses, and another $6 million for community and individual assistance.


Community/Individual Assistance Grants
The schedule has been finalized for community organizations that want to apply for these funds, which are intended to support and strengthen organizations in our core human service areas so that they can continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities.


Applications will be accepted from August 26 through September 8. A week-long review process will follow, with grant recipients notified by September 18. Two virtual information sessions will be offered to explain the process and answer questions applicants may have: on August 27 at noon, and August 31 at 10 a.m. Participation in one of these sessions is recommended but not required. Anyone wishing to attend must register in advance. More information and registration links can be found on the county's CARES webpage.


CARES Act funding will be available to cover COVID-19 related costs for organizations serving priority settings and populations. Organizations may apply for assistance for necessary COVID-19 expenditures incurred, such as PPE, physical modifications and additional staffing, as well as for service expansion and related programmatic expenses (incurred or proposed) related to COVID-19. 


Meanwhile, an online application will soon be available for individuals and families in an emergency situation due to the impact of COVID-19. An emergency situation could include being without or at risk of losing housing, utilities, or transportation that would affect gaining or maintaining employment, or needing assistance with other unexpected COVID19 related emergencies. Any assistance would be paid directly to the appropriate vendor such as a landlord, mortgage company, utility company or licensed repair person.


Small Business Assistance Grants

Money from the Small Business Relief Fund will be allocated in two phases. Phase 1 runs from August 24 through September 7, and is dedicated to businesses and non-profits with 25 or fewer full time employees,. Businesses may apply for assistance up to $1,000 per employee for a maximum of $25,000, for COVID-related expenses such as to purchase PPE, cleaning supplies, signage and safety barriers.


Phase 2 will be for businesses and non-profits with 100 or fewer full-time employees will open beginning September 8. In addition to COVID-related expenses, businesses may be partially reimbursed for loss of revenue, rent, mortgage and utilities. Applicants can apply for up to $50,000 during Phase 2.  


Program guidelines and other information, a video of one of the virtual information sessions, and  the option to sign up for email updates on the program, are now available on the CARES webpage. An online application, as well as a downloadable paper application, will also be available when the Phase 1 application period opens Monday at 8 a.m. 


For more information on any of the assistance grant opportunities, visit, email or call 218-726-2033