County, city relief funds bring aid to small town, ‘main street’ capitalists

By Brent Frazier, mayor City of Pelican Rapids

The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker…………

Since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business districts of our nation have been hit hard by the economic losses and woes.

This economic devastation has trickled down to those businesses in Minnesota, Otter Tail County and right here in Pelican Rapids.

Yes, right here in Pelican Rapids, many of our great entrepreneurs have felt the financial pinch by mandates set by our Minnesota governor, that if they were not deemed as essential businesses or workers, they had to close their doors to public. Several other businesses that could remain open to the public tried to operate under minimum occupancy requirements and limited conditions. 

Throughout the months that followed, the restrictions were somewhat less restrictive, but new guidelines were still in place that did not make it easier for either the consumer or the business, and unfortunately several consumers had changed their shopping habits due to the pandemic. This has truly been a struggle for any enterpriser up and down our city streets. 

Much of this situation was set to play out during the spring and summer months when most retail establishments need to create enough revenue to carry them through the lean winter months here in Minnesota. 

This situation has definitely had a crippling effect for anyone operating under the capitalistic ideas where finances are controlled by private owners for profit.

Well, some help is on the way at this time for those businesses and non-profits that have been trying to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and move forward.

Otter Tail County has recently been awarded $2.5 million from the State of Minnesota, with the City of Pelican Rapids receiving $80,000 for business and non-profit relief funding during these pandemic times. 

Just recently Otter Tail County and also the City of Pelican Rapids have adopted a “Small Business Relief and Reopening Grant” and also a “Non-Profit Relief and Response Fund” to be of some financial assistance to those businesses and non-profits that qualify for these grants.

These grants will be awarded and based on need, number of employees, fund availability, ranking system and a ‘first come-first serve’ basis, with a maximum grant up to $10,000.

Please remember that these businesses and non-profit’s revenue have to have been directly and adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for these grants will be accepted during a time period ending on September 30, 2020.

If you think that your business or non-profit could qualify for such a grant, please call the Pelican Rapids City Hall immediately at 218.863.7076.