In the wake of COVID-19, the City of Belle Plaine and its economic development authority have finalized programs aimed at assisting struggling local businesses, as discussed at the city council meeting on Monday night, May 18.
The COVID-19 Emergency Forgivable Loan and the Web Presence Forgivable Loan will offer businesses assistance with property payments and increasing their online footprints, respectively. Under the former, businesses, including those deemed non-critical, can qualify for up to a $1000 forgivable loan based on revenue lost amid the economic shutdown.
This is a good-faith effort on the part of the city to help.
"It's certainly not a panacea," Belle Plaine Community Development Director Cynthia Smith-Strack, who spoke about the loans, said at Monday night's meeting. "It's not a cure-all for everybody's troubles in the business world, but it's a place to start."
In order to qualify, businesses must have a storefront. Businesses that qualify for the COVID-19 Emergency Forgivable Loan include restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, child care centers, retail spaces, studios, hotels, fitness clubs, and medical, dental and optical clinics. Loans can be used for rent or mortgage payments and will carry no interest. The city will be making a total of $15,000 available to the community.
The second loan program, the Web Presence Forgivable Loan, will give Belle Plaine businesses with store fronts the opportunity to receive up to $1500 to put toward their websites' construction, design and dissemination. The city will also provide business an opportunity to receive a free one-hour consultation with a web professional.
Full breakdowns of the programs and applications can be found online at https://www.belleplainemn.com/economic-development-financing-tools-and-incentives.
Belle Plaine Welcomes New Police Officers
The Belle Plaine Police Department officially welcomed two new police officers after a swearing in ceremony on Monday night. Apryl Grund, who is the newest full-time officer and LeAnn Larson, who is joining as a part-time officer, recited their oaths at Monday night's meeting.
Grund grew up in Woodbury before moving to North Carolina. Her family then moved to Prior Lake. She attended Minnesota State University-Mankato, where she excelled in her law enforcement studies.
She began her law enforcement career in Savage as a community service officer before joining the Belle Plaine Police Department.
Larson grew up in Prior Lake before graduating from Winona State University and completing her law enforcement education at Hennepin Technical College.
She began her law enforcement career in Robbinsdale as a community service officer before joining the Belle Plaine Police Department.
Also on the Agenda
• The city council hired pool staff for the summer, although there is no guarantee the Belle Plaine Aquatic Center will be allowed to open.
• The city council authorized a wage stipend for Terry Stier of the Belle Plaine Police Department for his duty as acting police chief since March.