Douglas County CARES Pandemic Relief Grants

Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC) will oversee the Douglas County CARES Pandemic Relief Grant Program approved by the Douglas County Board on August 4, 2020. This program is funded by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security) Act.

This program makes grants available ranging up to $50,000 to nonprofits and small businesses owned and operated in Douglas County that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically a 25% decrease in net profit or greater. Grant recipients will receive up to 50% of net losses from March 1 – May 30, 2020, or $50,000, whichever is less.

A total of $2.6 million is available for grant awards, with a priority given to businesses directly impacted by Governor Walz’s Executive Orders. Any business started before March 1, 2020, is welcome to apply, including home-based businesses.

Applications will be administered by the AAEDC, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. Grant funds received by individual businesses will be used to cover business expenses beginning March 1, 2020, including but not limited to payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other expenses in the regular course of business. These funds cannot be used to pay for expenses that are being funded by other CARES Act programs. These are grants and no repayment will be required; they are not loans.

To qualify, a for-profit applicant must:

  • Be a private business that has a physical presence in Douglas County, including home-based businesses.
  • Be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State as of March 1, 2020.
  • Employ fewer than one hundred (100) full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.
  • Be able to demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically a 25% decrease in net profit or greater.

To qualify, a nonprofit applicant must:

  • Nonprofit organizations that can demonstrate a loss of income or increase in demand for services due to COVID‑19.
  • Nonprofits with up to 50 employees (Full Time Equivalents, FTEs).
  • All eligible applicants must have a physical location in Douglas County and serve the residents of Douglas County. Nonprofits may have a larger service area, but the resources awarded in this program are intended for services in Douglas County.
  • All eligible applicants must be registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State.

Please note, if you do not meet all the grant requirements, you may still be eligible based on the nature of impact COVID-19 has had on your profitability. Please contact the AAEDC for further information.

Priority Considerations:

  • Businesses directly impacted by Governor Walz’s Executive Orders
  • Businesses that have fewer than 100 employees

Additional Ineligible Businesses:

  • A business deriving income from passive investments without operational ties to operating businesses.
  • A business primarily focusing on speculative activities based on fluctuations in price rather than the normal course of trade.
  • A business earning more than half of its annual net revenue from lending.
  • A business engaging in pyramid sales, where a participant’s primary incentive is based on the sales of an ever-increasing number of participants.
  • A business engaging in activities prohibited by federal law or applicable law in the local jurisdiction of the business.
  • A business permanently closed at the time this application is submitted.

Applications for the CARES Grant Program open on Monday, August 10, 2020, and will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 4, 2020. Awards will be processed over the following two weeks.

A link to the APPLICATION is at

To complete your application, you will need:

  • Accounting software output (or spreadsheets) showing total income and expenses for March 1 – May 30, 2019 if business was operating during that period;
  • Schedule C or equivalent form from your 2019 business tax returns;
  • Accounting software output (or spreadsheets) for March 1 – May 30, 2020 showing total income and expenses;
  • Amounts of other CARES Act Program awards to your business (PPP, EIDL, etc.)

If you have all the necessary documentation, the application should take less than 20 minutes to complete.

by City of Alexandria

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