Economic Resiliency Grant helps businesses open safely
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Unemployment rates and unemployment claims are going down, but that doesn’t necessarily mean consumers are going back out to the marketplace.
Businesses are still struggling to reach the profits they made before the pandemic. But 66 million grant dollars from the state Department of Commerce could assist businesses with those efforts.
The Department of Commerce has announced the Economic Resiliency Grant, made possible through CARES Act funding. Businesses that apply could receive up to $50,000 of funding to make purchases that would help them reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Commerce leaders said giving businesses the necessary funds to mitigate COVID-19 also gives consumers the confidence to return.
“As nice as takeout and curbside is for customers, the reality is their business is still down 50 or 60 or 70 percent and margins continue to be absolutely difficult for them. And so this is the best possible use of this money,” said Department of Commerce Economic Development Division Director James Leiman.
Many businesses need materials like personal protective equipment, dividers, sanitizers and disposable products. In order to reopen, businesses needed to increase hygiene measures, but commerce leaders say they’ve lacked the funding do so.
“Financing gaps continue to exist as well as a consumer reluctance to re-enter the marketplace. The ERG was designed to address those gaps,” said Department of Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer.
The ERG covers a gray area of expenses that weren’t allowed under the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
Businesses will be able to apply online at the end of the month. Once offered the grant, businesses have up to 45 days to spend their funds.
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