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Commerce Department Announces Economic Resiliency Grants
North Dakota Ag Connection - 07/02/2020

The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced that the agency has developed the Economic Resiliency Grant (ERG) Program which was approved at today's Budget Section hearing to assist businesses with COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

The Budget Section approved $69 million to administer the ERG Program which is geared to enhance revenue in both the immediate and long-term future by growing consumer confidence. To achieve this, applicants may qualify to receive grant funding of up $50,000 for investments that will encourage customers to get back into the marketplace by ensuring businesses are equipped to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to assisting businesses be successful, the grant is also designed to reduce the burden on the unemployment insurance system by getting people back to work in a safe environment.

Importantly, the ERG is a grant -- not a loan. The expenses allowed for through the ERG did not previously qualify under both the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program.

"The Commerce Department is committed to assisting businesses with mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19," Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer said. "The purpose of the grant is to provide businesses one-time funding to increase customer and employee safety through improved infection control, with the ultimate purpose of inspiring consumers to return to the marketplace. A safe return of customers to marketplace is the best and most sustainable way to stimulate the economy."

The Economic Resiliency Grant application process is anticipated to open July 24. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first serve basis. Funding will be approved if the application meets all criteria and funding is available. Additional information, including educational sessions will be available shortly, and updates about the program will be posted to the Commerce's website.

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