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Updated: Emergency funding for small businesses in Cook County available through Project Backstop

Apr 15, 2020 06:45AM ● By Editor
From the Cook County Chamber of Commerce - April 16, 2020

The Cook County/Grand Marais EDA (EDA), with a gift from a generous funding partner, has created an $80,000 Project Backstop Relief Grant fund to provide critical relief for small businesses within Cook County struggling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Small businesses are the driving force of the Cook County economy and are also the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The objective of the fund is to provide immediate relief forsmall businesses while they navigate the various Federal and State programs.

This fund is designed to be used for immediate needs only. The funds may be used to pay employees, rent, utilities or other expenses necessary to keep your business operating while awaiting state and federal aid.

It is the desire of the EDA to aid as many small businesses as possible with the available funds. Therefore, as a condition of the grant, recipients will agree to donate back, if able, all or part of their grant. A business’ ability to donate back to the fund and the timing of that donation will be determined at the business’ sole discretion. 

Grant Size:   Up to $2,500


·         Businesses in Cook County

·         Be an existing small business with 6 FTEs or less 

·         Businesses where timing is critical 

Required Documents: 

·         Project Backstop Grant Application

The purpose of this fund is to ASSIST in:

• Preventing permanent closure of our small businesses during and after the pandemic.

• Restoring affected businesses back to financial health as quickly as possible.

• Recycling funds to continually help those in need.

• Help businesses avoid risk of closing above and beyond existing resources.

• Leverage local, regional, state, and federal resources to get businesses back on their feet.

• Providing funds in a quick, efficient manner from application to distribution.

The EDA has the sole responsibility for reviewing applications and awarding of grants. Project Backstop Relief Grants will be reviewed on the following schedule:

First Round Opens

April 15, 2020

      First Round Decisions

    April 20, 2020

Second Round Opens

April 17, 2020

      Second Round Decisions

    April 24, 2020

Future Rounds Open


       Future Decisions


First round deadline is Friday, April 17 at 5:00 PM.  

Second round deadline is Monday, April 20 at 5:00 PM.

Future application opportunities will be contingent upon availability of funds.

Submit your application and all attachments to Mary Somnis at [email protected]. Questions can be directed to Mary Somnis [email protected] or Pat Campanaro [email protected] . 

Jim Boyd
Executive Director
Cook County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 805 15 North Broadway
Grand Marais, MN 55604
218-387-2079 (office)
218-387-2466 (home)
218-370-9665 (cell)
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