Non-profits can receive county CARES money

The Isanti County Board of Commissioners has decided to help “spread the wealth” of their CARES Act funding to an area that so far, hasn’t garnered as much support, but is still suffering just as much as, if not more, than local businesses.

The Isanti County Board of Commissioners approved spending for the $4.8 million CARES Act funding it received from the federal government at its Sept. 2 meeting.

The county allocated $2.9 million for county infrastructure, which includes public safety, payroll reimbursement, personal protective equipment, and technology upgrades. 

Small businesses and nonprofits will also receive assistance from the county in the amount of $1.5 million, $1 million of which is for small business and $500,000 for nonprofits. The county will provide grants up to $10,000 to reimburse lost profit for businesses and lost revenue for nonprofits. 

“I think it was great that the board focused in that area, because that’s different than a lot of the other relief efforts for businesses,” said County Administrator Julia Lines, noting most other relief for small businesses and nonprofits has been focused on reimbursement for personal protective equipment (PPE), plexi-glass, and whatever else they purchased for mitigation efforts. 

Applications for the grants can be submitted beginning today (Sept. 10) and will be accepted through Wednesday, Sept. 30. There are certain criteria which businesses and nonprofits will have to meet, including being in business for a certain amount of time and being a business in good standing.

An additional $300,000 of CARES Act funding will be given to county public schools for technology and PPE. Funds will be divided by school population, with $260,000 going to Cambridge-Isanti Schools and $40,000 for Braham Schools.

Private schools such as the Arts and Science Academy will receive PPE from the county, and are eligible to apply for the grants for nonprofits.

The final $100,000 will be used for housing relief, whether it be to pay mortgage/rent or utilities, and will be administered by Lakes and Pines.

In addition to funding from the county, the county will provide schools with PPE, such as gloves, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, and masks. Isanti County currently has most of the PPE that is requested in its supply, according to Isanti County Emergency Manager Mari Bostrom. 

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