St. Louis County distributes $6.2 million in CARES Act funds to local small businesses

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

Phone: (218) 726-2450 •

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator




November 24, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT:  Matthew Johnson

Director, Planning & Community Development Department



St. Louis County completes distribution of $6.2 million in CARES Act funds to local small businesses

St. Louis County has successfully distributed a total of $6,191,801 in federal CARES Act funds to assist small businesses throughout the county. A total of 471 businesses received funding through the county's Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants.


The money was distributed in two phases. Phase 1, which was completed earlier this fall, provided grant assistance to businesses and non-profits with 25 or fewer full time employees, for COVID-19 related expenses such as to purchase PPE, cleaning supplies, signage and safety barriers. St. Louis County awarded $674,613 to 220 businesses during Phase 1.


Phase 2 focused on businesses and non-profits with up to 100 employees, providing emergency grant assistance of up to $50,000. These funds could be used for PPE and other COVID-related costs, as well as broader expenses incurred during or as a result of business interruption from the Governor's ordered shutdown. The County distributed a total of $5,517,188 to 355 businesses during Phase 2. These small businesses together employ a total of 4,980 people in St. Louis County.


"Our small businesses contribute so much to our County and to our economy," said Commissioner Keith Nelson, who chairs the Board's Finance Committee. "They have faced so many challenges and hardships this year, and it's gratifying to be able to help them in this way during this critical time."


In addition to the Small Business Grants, the County has distributed $1.8 million in CARES Act funds to 12 public school districts and two charter schools within the county. It has also distributed $2.8 million in funding to community organizations, and $89,000 in individual assistance.


The complete list of businesses receiving funds in Phase 1 and Phase 2 is available online at Some businesses were eligible and received funding in both phases.



Note for editors: we took photos with several business recipients from around the county, which you are welcome to use. The full list of recipients can be found at

Mesabi Animal Hospital

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