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Cook County/Grand Marais EDA Announces Grants for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Jul 30, 2020 11:56AM ● By Editor

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established a  $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for distribution to state and local government.

Minnesota was allocated $853 million, from which Cook County will receive $730,087.00.  This funding must be used to support services and grants to businesses, hospitals and individuals impacted by the pandemic. Of the Cook County allocation, $200,000.00 will be used for grants to Cook County businesses to reimburse expenditures in response to COVID–19.

Cook County/Grand Marais EDA, Cook County Chamber of Commerce, and Northeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center will administer the grant program.

The grant program Application and Guidelines can be found on the EDA website at under the tab “Programs & Projects”.

Guidelines to apply for a grant


For-and-Non-Profit businesses that employ fewer than 10 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) are eligible to apply.  To determine the number of FTEs add total hours worked by all employees in 2019 (full and part time) and divide by 2080.

  • Cook County Public Health and Human Services is hosting a separate program for programmatic expenses for non-profit organizations providing social services.
  • Preference will be given to those businesses that have applied for and not received COVID-19 grants or loans from federal and state governments. 
  • Grant requests must be between $500.00 and $2,500.00. 
  • Expenses must be in response to COVID-19. Business expenses including, but not limited to, such items as computers, software and other hi-tech goods, linens, protective gear, cleaning equipment, alterations to building structure and grounds, Plexiglass barriers, and new outdoor seating, as examples.
  • Applications must include copies of invoices or receipts for expenditures that have already been incurred. If these expenditures are planned for future purchase, include cost estimates or quotes and timeline for purchase.  If applications are approved for planned purchases, funds will be released when invoices and receipts are submitted.

Non-eligible Expenses

  • Lost Revenue
  • Expenses for which you have received other reimbursement  (“Double-Dipping” is not allowed)
  • Property taxes
  • Payroll Expense

Grant Program Timeline

Grant program announced and open for applications              August 1, 2020

Applications must be received by EDA by 5:00 PM                   August 14, 2020

Grant awards announced                                                           August 31, 2020

All funds must be spent                                                              December 30, 2020

If there are funds remaining available after August 31, 2020 the Cook County CARES Task Force may announce a second round.

Contact for Questions

EDA Executive Director Mary Somnis  [email protected]  218-387-3112