Financial help has arrived for North Branch businesses

North Branch Mayor Jim Swenson (left) accepts a check for $20,000 from East Central Electric CEO Steve Shurts. The money is part of ECE’s efforts to help businesses who are financially struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The utilities company established a total of $100,000 in interest-free loans to cities wishing to set up or replenish a revolving loan fund. According to Shurts, cities can choose how they wish to disperse the money, with the only condition being a maximum of $5,000 be given to any one business. Shurts emphasized the businesses don’t need to be ECE customers. Applications can be found on the city’s website. Questions can be directed to Community Development Director Carla Vita at or 651-674-8113.

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