EGF COVID-19 Loans
Doug Barrett | Jan 13, 2021 AT 8:44 am
The rollout of a forgivable loan program created by East Grand Forks to help businesses forced to close due to COVID is taking longer than expected. Several members of the city council urged the Economic Development Authority Board to do what it can to speed the process up. The EDA is working to coordinate the $260,000 dollar loan program approved by the council in December with a Polk County grant that totals $200,000 dollars.
The city money may not be available until March. Council President Mark Olstad says there are those who need the help now.
Mayor Steve Gander says a March disbursement date is somewhat troubling. "If this can be finalized and disbursed any sooner and they get some grant dollars they could take this out and pay it off with grant dollars in the future." Gander says there's no reason to wait for a grant program before a decision is made whether to apply for a forgivable loan.
Council member Dale Helms is a member of the EDA board. Helms says they are aware of the need in the community bit it takes time. "All the legal stuff before it gets done...and we all know when you start the legal process it's not quick."
Governor Tim Walz closed bars…restaurants…and fitness centers in late November to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. That order was lifted on Monday.