Minnesota businesses struggling from lack of snow can now apply for emergency aid

Gov. Walz urges businesses impacted by mild winter to apply for aid

Gov. Walz urges businesses impacted by mild winter to apply for aid

Relief is available for Minnesota businesses facing financial hardship from the exceptionally mild winter, Gov. Tim Walz announced.

From December through February, the Twin Cities experienced the warmest meteorological winter ever. It’s also been the second-least snowy winter on record, with only 14.3 total inches of snowfall since October.

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“From skiing and snowshoeing to winter festivals, snowy winters are part of our way of life in Minnesota. The low precipitation we’ve experienced this winter has had a real economic impact on small businesses that rely on snow and winter tourism to grow and survive,” Walz said in a statement. “I encourage all impacted business owners to apply for assistance as soon as possible.”

Gov. Walz gathered representatives from several small businesses and nonprofits Monday at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis to talk about the financial hardships they’ve experienced this winter.

Claire Wilson, executive director of the Loppet Foundation, shared that ski and trail operations at the park were down about $1 million.

Scott Hartmann, owner of Scott’s Lawn Care, says his company has only responded to one plow event all winter — that’s compared with more than 20 last year.

“And this has sadly forced us to lay off much of our staff,” he said.

The state has unlocked federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans for 81 of the state’s 87 counties under U.S. Department of Agriculture drought disaster declarations.

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Impacted businesses can borrow up to $2 million through the Small Business Administration to help cover their losses this season. That loan is interest-free for the first year and maxes out at 4% interest for the remainder of the loan period.

A business owner who suffered from a lack of precipitation can search their county online and pick a disaster declaration with the “drought” description to apply for assistance. Businesses are encouraged to pay special attention to the application deadline.

More information is available on the Small Business Administration’s website.

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