WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County businesses and nonprofits are benefiting from the CARES Pandemic Relief Grant Program administered by the Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission.

According to a news release from the EDC, a variety of businesses and nonprofits have applied and received more than $700,000 in grants. The businesses that have received the funds average 7.5 years in business with 167 full-time equivalent jobs.

The EDC in the release said 48 grants have been approved since the program began accepting applications on July 28. Another 48 applications approved by the EDC await action by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners, and another 22 applications from businesses and nonprofits are in the process of being evaluated.

The loss in revenue generated by the pandemic caused them to seek these grants.

"The average loss of these businesses is 57 percent, with some businesses seeing a loss as high as 100 percent during the second quarter of 2020," said Aaron Backman, director of the Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission.

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Nonprofits followed suit and submitted grant applications as they lost revenue as well.

"We sometimes forget that nonprofits are employers. Those awarded so far represent 172 jobs, averaging 17 employees at each nonprofit," said Connie Schmoll, business development manager for the EDC.

Relief grants are still available for Kandiyohi County businesses and nonprofits that have experienced reduced revenue in response to the pandemic. Businesses may request up to $15,000 and must apply by Oct. 29, 2020. Nonprofits may request up to $50,000 and must apply by Oct. 23, 2020.

The program is funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Kandiyohi County businesses and nonprofits are expected to receive a total of $2.5 million in grants.

Program information and applications are available at the EDC website.