The Mower County Board of Commissioners has allocated $1 million of federal to support small businesses and $250,000 to support nonprofits with financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mower County COVID-19 Relief Fund (MCCRF) will provide one-time grants up to $10,000 to eligible small business and nonprofit applicants.

Grant funds can be used for expenses that have occurred since March 1, 2020.  Funds can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills and other operational expenses. It is also meant to cover costs that occurred as a result of complying with COVID-19 executive orders, public health recommendations and expenses related to preparing to reopen. For nonprofits, the funds can be used to recover from economic hardship from lost revenue due to event cancellation and additional expenses related to an increase in how many people were served.

The MCCRF will be jointly administered by Mower County and the Development Corporation of Austin (DCA). 

Questions? Check out our frequently asked questions.

MCCRF Frequently Asked Questions (English).

MCCRF Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish).


SMALL BUSINESSES (Scroll down for Nonprofit information)

Eligibility

Businesses must meet all of the following criteria as of March 1, 2020 to be eligible:

  • Businesses or animal agriculture operations with a physical establishment in Mower County, including locally-owned franchises, home-based businesses and mobile businesses.
  • The owner must be a permanent resident of Mower County or one of the counties adjacent to Mower County.  
  • Businesses must have no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees. Employees for this grant program may be either W-2 employees or independent contractors.
  • Businesses must have been operating before March 1, 2019.
  • Businesses must be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State and Minnesota Department of Revenue as of March 1, 2020.
  • Businesses must demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020.
  • Businesses who received federal funds in the Payment Protection Plan (PPP) and Emergency Incident Deferment Loan (EIDL) are eligible, but Mower County CRF dollars must be used to cover different expenses over and above what was covered by PPP and EIDL.

 Ineligible businesses

  • Corporate chains, multi-state chains.
  • Businesses that primarily derive income from gambling.
  • Businesses that derive any income from adult entertainment.
  • Businesses that primarily sell pawned merchandise, guns, tobacco or vaping products.
  • Businesses that derive income from passive investments; business-to-business transactions; real estate transactions; property rentals or property management; billboards; or lobbying.
  • Businesses who received the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz on June 16, 2020.
  • Lending institutions, law firms, utility companies, residential rental properties, production agriculture, insurance agencies, financial advisors.


To Apply

Applications accepted until 4:30 pm, Monday, August 31, 2020.  If applications from eligible businesses exceeds the funds available, grant recipients will be ranked by need until funds are exhausted. Priority of awards will be determined by the impact of Governor Walz COVID-19 Executive Orders on businesses operations and by percentage of loss between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 as compared to the same period on 2019. 

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Approved applicants will be required to submit documentation to substantiate information. Grant recipients must also provide documentation of how funds were spent within 60 days. 

Applicants are asked to complete the application online at the link below. If assistance is needed in processing the application, call 507-433-9495. A pdf version of the application will be made available upon request.

If you'd like to see what is on the application, here's a sample.

Questions? 

After reviewing the FAQ above if you have additional questions, please call 507-433-9495 or email us at cares@austindca.org.

NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Eligibility

  • Non-profits must meet all of the following criteria:
  • Be a certified 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 non-profit with a physical establishment in Mower County. 
  • Nonprofits may have a larger service area, but the resources awarded in this program are intended for services in Mower County.
  • Nonprofit organizations that can demonstrate a loss of income or increase in demand for services due to COVID 19 or can make an impact for individuals or the community in response to COVID-19. 
  • Have no more than 50 full time equivalent employees.
  • Be registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State and have been operating since March 1, 2019.
  • Demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020.


 Ineligible Applicants
  • Religious organizations that do not have a social service function.
  • Lobbying groups and political organizations.
  • Organizations that restrict activity based on ethnicity, gender, orientation or ability.

 

Application Requirements
The MCCRF Grant application must be completed in its entirety by the applicant and submitted to the DCA via the application link below by 4:30 pm, August 31, 2020 in order to be considered. If assistance is needed in processing the application, call 507-433-9495. A pdf version of the application will be made available upon request.


In addition to completing the application, you must email the following documents to cares@austindca.org:

  • A copy of the IRS nonprofit determination letter.
  • Income/expense statements for the first six months of 2019 and the first six months of 2020. If the financials fail to show loss/impact of loss, please explain with additional documentation.
  • A copy of the nonprofit’s current filing with the Minnesota Secretary of State Office.
Grant recipients agree to provide documentation of how funds were spent within 60 days following grant disbursal.

  

Questions? Visit: www.austindca.org/CARES, call 507-433-9495 or email cares@austindca.org.