Council discusses ideas to help businesses during COVID-19

The Bemidji City Council approved two new contracts during their meeting last night. One contract was with the state for grant dollars received for about 15 homeowners to renovate their properties, for projects such as updated siding, roofs and windows.

The other contract was with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, who will administer the grant dollars to homeowners that qualify. The renovation area is just west of downtown in Ward 4.

The council then held a discussion on how they can help businesses in the area amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and discussed possible solutions such as allowing retail shops and restaurants to use public right of way to allow for greater social distancing, similar to how “Crazy Days” used sidewalks and streets.

Another idea discussed was rebating portions of liquor license fees.

No action was made last night, but the council will likely discuss more possibilities during their next meetings.


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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