Otter Tail County businesses and nonprofits hit hard by winter pandemic-related closures were provided $1.15 million in relief grants by the county. The state-funded grant program was administered through the Otter Tail County’s Community Development Agency and provided grants from $1,250 to $15,000 to 129 local businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.

The grant program was created to support small businesses and nonprofits that have been directly and adversely impacted by COVID-19 related executive orders. The goal of the program was to stabilize those organizations and build a bridge from the challenging winter season to the hopefully brighter, busier spring and summer seasons.

Organizations that were required to close in November 2020 by Executive Order 20-99, including restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness centers, and indoor entertainment venues, were prioritized for review and funding. Ninety-five of the 129 organizations funded were in this priority group, and they received 89 percent of the funding available. The remaining 34 organizations that were not in this priority group received funding because they demonstrated a minimum 20 percent decrease in revenue as a direct result of a COVID-related executive order. Grant recipients strongly represented communities throughout Otter Tail County, with 17 of the 21 zip codes in Otter Tail County represented.

“This program made it evident again that our business community is resilient and dedicated to serving their communities. We’ve heard from many organizations that this funding will help get them to what we’re hopeful is the finish line of the pandemic,” said Amy Baldwin, Otter Tail County’s Community Development Director and Executive Director of the CDA.

David Schornack, CDA Board Chairman and Director of Business Development and Sales at Arvig  is optimistic that the grants awarded will help stabilize businesses and nonprofits and help them with continued investment and success in their communities.

“The CDA board remains committed to investing in and supporting the recovery of businesses and nonprofits in Otter Tail County. This grant program demonstrated that commitment to being partners to our business community through the challenges of the pandemic,” he said.

By sharing information related to financial assistance, vaccine availability for businesses, and workforce recovery, the CDA will continue to be a partner to navigate the road ahead. 

For any questions about how Otter Tail County and the CDA can support the business and nonprofit community, contact Amy Baldwin at or (218) 998-8050.