Beltrami County provides funding for area business loans

Updated at 3:45 p.m. on April 1, 2020.

The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners met in an emergency meeting Tuesday to consider contributing to Greater Bemidji’s loan program.

Dave Hengel, executive director at Greater Bemidji, says 95 businesses have contacted him as Governor Tim Walz’s executive orders affected their business.

The county was asked to provide $250,000 for this deferred loan program, and approved the measure unanimously, with $125,000 coming out of the consolidated conservation (CON CON) fund.

The CON CON dollars will be used for businesses in the CON CON district.

The other half of the funding came out of the county’s development fund.

This is the same fund where some of the $1 million pledged for the Northern Minnesota Veterans home comes from, which has been put on the back burner by the federal government. County Administrator Kay Mack said Wednesday that the Veterans Home money is secured in escrow. 

The Neilson Foundation and the City of Bemidji have also been asked to contribute $250,000 for the effort.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development supplied Greater Bemidji with over $1 million in funding for the state’s small business loan program.

This article has been updated to reflect a correction. The article previously stated that half of the funding would come out of the Veterans Home fund, which was incorrect. 


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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