Small Business COVID-19 Information

Assistance for Small Businesses

This page is devoted to helping small businesses and non-profit agencies in Le Sueur County get through the pandemic.

On December 14, 2020, the Minnesota legislature approved another $556,330.33 for grants to small businesses and nonprofits in Le Sueur County.  Additionally the Minnesota Department of Revenue received $88 million will identify restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, bowling alleys, bars, and fitness/recreation centers who will receive payments based on business type, number of employees and sales tax loss data. These state grants will range in size from $10,000 to $45,000.

Le Sueur County is continuing its contract with Next Stage, the firm that processed the CARES Act funds this fall. 

Small businesses, here is a letter explaining the new round of grants. Please read.

Guidelines for the January 2021 (round 2) Small Business Grant Program. Applications closed Jan. 22, 2021.

State of Minnesota Program

Here is the state's plan for distributing its funding round. Businesses will want to verify their business address with the state to ensure payment and instructions for this process are included in the link. This page also includes information about COVID-19 Penalty Relief. Businesses may ask the state to cancel or reduce filing or payment penalties if they have a reasonable cause or are negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New Markets Cost Share Program for Minnesota Farm or Food or Beverage Companies

The program is from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and is intended to to help with cost-sharing to take advantage of market opportunities through E-commerce, merchandising, tradeshows or store demos.

The program offers up to $250,000 for reimbursements for expenses incurred between July 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. More is expected to be available for the second half of the fiscal year. Funding comes from the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program, with funds from the Federal CARES Act for entities affected by COVID-19. The state will process applications on a first-come, first-served basis until the application deadline or funds are gone, whichever is first. The first application deadline is Jan. 10, 2021.

Region Nine Development Commission

Region Nine is offering loans to businesses which can demonstrate financial harm from the pandemic. The minimum amount available is $10,000 and the maximum is $100,000. If awarded, the loans are interest free for the first two years and thereafter 2 percent interest is charged per year up to eight years. An application is available on the website but businesses are encouraged to email prior to applying. A response will then come from either Lu Vanderwerf, Finance Director/Revolving Loan Fund Coordinator or Sam Smith, Economic Resiliency Specialist, to provide tips and information for applying.

The mission of the Region Nine Development Commission is to promote the development of the region through intergovernmental cooperation, community and human development, long-range planning, and technical assistance. Region Nine Development Commission takes great pride in working with and on behalf of counties, cities, townships, and schools throughout South Central Minnesota. Since 1972, being a partner for progress has led to the development of programs and identification of solutions in the areas of economic development, business development, healthy communities, transportation, community development, and leveraging regional resources.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in the 20 counties of south central and southeastern Minnesota. SMIF’s key interests include economic and early childhood development and community vitality. SMIF got its start in the farm crisis of the 1980s to help diversify Greater Minnesota economies and ensure vibrant communities for future generations. SMIF does offer business financing through various programs.

U. S. Small Business Administration

If you are a small businesses, nonprofit organization of any size, or a U.S. agricultural business with 500 or fewer employees that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can apply for the COVID-19 EIDL (Low interest disaster assistance disaster loan). This loan applies to all businesses based in any U.S. state, territory, or the District of Columbia. Other disaster assistance is also available as well as emergency preparation tips.

IRS Employee Retention Credit

This program is designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. There are only two exceptions: State and local governments and their instrumentalities and small businesses who take small business loans. Qualifying employers must fall into one of two categories: The employer's business is fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter. OR The employer's gross receipts are below 50% of the comparable quarter in 2019. Once the employer's gross receipts go above 80% of a comparable quarter in 2019, they no longer qualify after the end of that quarter. These measures are calculated each calendar quarter.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Business Toolkit

Tips, funding sources, best practices, supplier match, guidance, webinars, employment guidance.

Chambers of Commerce

Elysian Area Chamber, PO Box 95, Elysian, MN 56028

Le Center Area Chamber of Commerce

Le Sueur Area Chamber of Commerce

Montgomery Chamber of Commerce

New Prague Chamber of Commerce

Waterville Chamber of Commerce


City of Cleveland

City of Elysian

City of Heidelberg

City of Kasota

City of Kilkenny

City of Le Center

City of Le Sueur

City of Montgomery

City of New Prague

City of Waterville

Le Sueur County CARES Act Funding

Utilizing federal CARES Act funding, Le Sueur County was able to award up to $10,000 grants to 56 businesses operating in the county, with a grand total of over $500,000 in small business grants.  The CARES Act funding ended December 1, 2020.

Check back for Updates

As more programs and tips become available, they will be added here for your information. We will also share updates via with the local media and on social media via “Le Sueur County CARES Act Funding FYI” pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.