Local aid would come on top of more likely federal aid for businesses in a second $ 900 billion relief bill that targets $ 284 billion for additional forgivable loans under the protection program paychecks, renewing a program created under the CARES Act.
The bill, however, awaits the signature of President Donald Trump.
While this federal program is expected to roll out in the coming weeks, the City of Moorhead will reimburse the liquor license renewal fees, most of which have already been paid, for a period of six months.
City manager Dan Mahli said they were working with the Moorhead utility on removing utility charges for closed businesses, possibly for six months.
“It’s difficult, there’s no other way to put it,” Mahli said of the bars and restaurants closing. In Minnesota, only take-out and alfresco dining are allowed until at least next month.
Moorhead’s program would be similar to that approved by the Fargo City Commission which will cost the city around $ 1.2 million over the coming year.
Although restrictions on North Dakota bars and restaurants that required them to close at 10 p.m. were lifted on Tuesday, December 22, a 50% capacity limit is still in place until January 8. Closing time is now at 2 a.m.
The town of Moorhead already provided $ 1.84 million in grants to 207 businesses with 20 or fewer employees last fall, with most receiving around $ 10,000 in aid under the CARES Act allocation of the city.
As the city works on more aid, Clay County Commissioner Kevin Campbell said the county has provided second aid to businesses while working with the city for the 21 to 50 employees, as well as checks most important to nursing homes, using the federal government. CARES Act financing to the county.
Campbell said they are still working on how to run a new statewide program that provides roughly $ 216 million to businesses that lose money on shutdown.
He said some aid went directly from the state to businesses.
However, based on population, he said, the county received an additional $ 1.2 million.
“We have homework to do,” Campbell said of using the new aid to take the strain off business. He said city and county officials had a first meeting last Tuesday, with another scheduled for Tuesday, December 29.
The funds could eventually go to businesses that did not receive direct state aid, which started at $ 15,000 for small businesses with less than 20 employees and has gradually grown, Campbell said.
Additionally, he said, they are considering reimbursement of renewal fees for licensed bars and restaurants in the county.
The new federal program, according to the Washington Post, has been amended to serve small businesses, independent restaurants, nonprofits, churches, and faith-based organizations.
$ 15 billion has also been targeted for the entertainment industry, including music clubs, independent theaters and entertainment venues as part of the arts and entertainment industry’s largest public rescue of the history of the United States.
The legislation, The Post reported, also provides for PPP funding reserved for “very small” businesses, as well as loans through community lenders and minority institutions.
The reinstatement of the “three martini dinner” deduction for corporate meal expenses as a means of reviving the restaurant industry is in the bill, along with a provision that allows those who have received loans in the past to have them deducted from their Federal Tax Return.