RED WING — Due to COVID-19, Gov. Tim Walz has allowed community revolving loan funds to be used for retail and service businesses for the next 90 days. Before the pandemic, these funds were reserved for manufacturing businesses.

According to the report created by Dan Rogness, the city’s community development director, the Port Authority’s Industrial Revolving Loan Fund currently has a balance of $482,467.87.

If the board passes the emergency grant/loan program Wednesday, small-business owners can apply for a grant/loan of up to $15,000 per business. Half of the payment would be a grant (it would not have to be repaid) and the other half of the payment would be a term loan.

According to Rogness’ report, if the program is approved those who would be eligible to receive money for their business are small retail, service or manufacturing businesses that have been in business for at least one year and have 30 employees or fewer.

If approved, these funds can be used for working capital (rent or a mortgage, utilities, inventory, etc.).

The available grants/loans will be on a first-come, first-served approval through May 22.

The Port Authority’s finance committee and staff recommend that the grant/loan program for 90 days using the Port Authority's industrial revolving loan fund should be approved.

Editor's Note: If this motion is approved by the Port Authority on Wednesday, the Republican Eagle will publish a closer look at the loan/grant program.