FEDA approves loans to local businesses | News, Sports, Jobs
FAIRMONT– The Fairmont Economic Development Authority met Tuesday evening due to a City Council training session on Monday evening. On Tuesday, the council learned that several local businesses had applied for a CARES Act loan.
In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act was enacted. As a result, FEDA received $610,000 in revolving loan funds to help local small businesses, nonprofits and individuals.
At the last FEDA meeting, Economic Development Coordinator Linsey Preuss told the council that 15 local businesses had applied for and received the loan, but the deadline to spend the money was July 2022 and there were still more to come. over $200,0000. She asked the board if they thought the maximum should be increased from $25,000 to $75,000 and the board approved it.
On Tuesday, Preuss shared there were three loan requests to consider.
“I didn’t have to advertise. There was an article in the newspaper and my phone was ringing. I didn’t do any outreach,” said Preuss.
The three companies that applied were D&R Repair, Serenity Salon and Cutting Edge Fitness of Fairmont.
Preuss asked the board if the term of the loan would be $75,000 at zero percent for five years like the current program, or a longer term and they can charge interest over time. In the end, they decided to go with zero percent for a seven-year term.
Board member Mike Wubbena said he asked for information on how the money was used by the companies that applied for the loan. The board approved all three loan applications.
Moving on to other questions, Preuss shared that she was notified of a grant opportunity through the Federal EDA, which uses ARPA funds.
“I spoke with the City of Blue Earth and they asked us a lot of questions about recruiting and retaining our workforce,” said Preuss.
She reminded the board of directors of Fairmont Area Life and the ads targeted to the subway and said the city of Blue Earth was interested in that,
“Region Nine came to us and told us there was a grant opportunity where they would pay up to 80% of the total project cost,” said Preuss.
The total cost of the project is around $1.3 million, but Preuss said they could hire someone for five years as an economic recovery coordinator and not have to pay anything for it.
Preuss shared more about the opportunities for the position and said all work would be done at both Fairmont and Blue Earth as it strengthens the bid by spanning two cities.
“It sounds really exciting and something we could work towards,” said Preuss.
Board members asked Preuss several more questions about the process and the position. Member Aaron Speltz asked if there would be any ads aimed at getting people to the Fairmont, Blue Earth or the general area. Preuss said to the general area.
“There will likely be benefits to other communities if someone moves here and wants to live in hospitality and work here,” said member Chantill Kahler Royer.
In the end, the board agreed with the idea and encouraged Preuss to pursue it. She said economic development has turned into a lot of workforce development and it will allow her to focus more on her job while meeting another need.
“If it goes well, as it should, it proves that we need it,” said member Michele Miller.
In other news:
— Council received an update on the RFP for White Tail Ridge. At the November meeting, the council had approved Preuss to write a request for proposals to develop eight residential lots in White Tail Ridge. On Tuesday, Preuss shared that there had been a lot of interest and she had received several requests. She said the tenders were due March 3.
– Preuss provided an update on Fairmont’s succession planning project and said he plans to have two 90-minute sessions that will include conversations with local businesses that have bought and sold businesses in the past for share what worked for them and what didn’t. .