ROCHESTER, Minn. - Olmsted County is rolling out a new $3.4 million COVID-relief grant program to help local businesses and nonprofits stay afloat as the pandemic drags on.
Cafe Steam owner William Forsman says he will definitely be applying.
Businesses and nonprofits will be able to apply for the funds beginning this Friday.
To qualify for the grants, businesses and nonprofits must be located in Olmsted County and be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Those who apply will be required to show how the business was impacted by Governor Tim Walz's executive orders and that they have complied with the orders.
The big question is will this money be enough to save struggling shops.
Forsman talks about the most recent shutdown.
"It was like a light switch ... the business decline associated with it. Now that we've been able to reintroduce safer indoor seating, we've definitely noticed an uptrend of about 20% from the week previous, which is an awesome change. But we're still down a considerable amount as compared to this same time last year," says Forsman.
Forsman says with winter here, business is down anyway, so he is looking ahead optimistically to the summer months.
Reservations are required if you want to sit down and drink your coffee at Cafe Steam.
The coffee shop even accepts reservations at the door.