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Council Approves Small Business Relief Funding

March 31, 2020 9:52am

The Storm Lake City Council in a special meeting this morning approved emergency grant funding to assist small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses operating within Storm Lake city limits are eligible to apply.

"The funds will be distributed through the City of Storm Lake through a review committee," says City Manager Keri Navratil.  "The assistance is only intended to provide businesses with immediate short-term cash flow assistance for the next 30 days." 

A total of 100-thousand dollars has been allocated for the program. The maximum amount per business is five-thousand dollars. Funding is coming from franchise fees.

Through the first round of funding, business owners must be residents of Storm Lake, something that council member Tyson Rice was pushing for.

"This should be a benefit of someone paying Storm Lake taxes and living in the community of Storm Lake," Rice says.  "I also don't think we should try to go through this 100-thousand dollars as quickly as we can.  This pandemic might take one more month, or 18 more months.  We should take care of the residents and business owners of Storm Lake as our priority.  I don't feel we should open this up and give it away as fast as we can, and then have nothing left when our residents might need it down the road."

The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is April 7th. Businesses with under 25 employees prior to March 17th are eligible to apply.

Mayor Mike Porsch says after the first round of funding, the council can discuss the matter further based on the number of applications they receive and the amount of funding that is still available.