The Steele County Economic Relief Grants program were announced last month and closed their application process on February 12. The county announced they had $715,000 dollars to distribute. Businesses and nonprofits in the county made requests that added up to more than seven times that figure.

The Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (OACCT) e-newsletter Tuesday Talk reports, "According to Steele County Administrator Scott Golberg, the county received 165 applications requesting over $5.3 million in funding."

"This highlights the major impact to businesses during the COVID-19 closures and need for additional support for them," the newsletter continues. The county expects "to have decisions made and funds out by early March."

In other news from Tuesday Talk:

  • Business After Hours was back in live form Tuesday (February 23) at the Elks Club in Owatonna.
  • There has been some movement on a tax relief plan for businesses that have taken advantage of the PPP loan program. But action is still necessary. "The MN Chamber reports more than 100,000 Minnesota businesses participated in the PPP loan program. Without this change (to tax law) many small and mid-sized businesses-already struggling due to revenue losses-will face further tax burdens."
  • Chamber week at the state capitol will take place March 1-4 on a virtual basis.
  • Look back on videos highlighting Owatonna businesses during the recent National Entrepreneur Week observance in Owatonna.
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