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Small Business Relief Grants Program to Begin Accepting Applications on June 23

More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – will begin accepting applications next week.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law. 

Additional requirements include:

$18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees

$10 million for minority business enterprises

$2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses

$2.5 million for women-owned businesses

$2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

“Small businesses across our state urgently need this relief,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED applauds the bipartisan action to pass this legislation, and we are grateful to Governor Walz for signing the bill quickly so we could immediately get this grant program up and running.”

The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


Get The Dirt

By Kathy Schwartz, Murray County Master Gardener

Remove flowers on coleus plants as soon as they appear to keep the plants full and compact.

Harvest green onions when the greens are 6 inches tall. Leave some onions to grow and develop.

If you allow tomatoes to sprawl on the ground, mulch the soil to reduce problems with insects and disease. Sprawled tomatoes are the most productive but some may be lost to insects and big feet.

Information provided by the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

Wilder Pageant of Walnut Grove, MN

“COME HOME TO LAURA INGALLS”…still alive this summer on Facebook and Youtube! The Wilder Pageant is hosting a free Laura event online in lieu of our live summer production “Fragments of Dream”.  To satisfy both audience and devout theater folk, we are creating “Laura’s Prairie Summer”, a series of six Facebook Live programs with a mix of live and recorded scenes, contests, pioneer crafts and interviews with some of the most respected authorities on the life and writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder.   Find us live on Youtube or Facebook from our homepage links at

These celebrations of theater and Laura Ingalls will start at 7:00 p.m. CST and be live starting Friday, July 10th. Five more episodes will follow on July 11, 17, 18, 24, and 25.  There is no charge to watch but donations to help keep the Wilder Outdoor Theater in Walnut Grove, Minnesota alive or to contribute to school scholarships for our young actors and actresses is encouraged as you are able.

Because we have this unforeseen and unique opportunity, these programs will try new scenes and ask actors and audience for feedback as the Wilder Pageant looks to develop a refreshed show for the future.

Friday, July 10th at 7:00 p.m. Laura’s Prairie Summer: Episode ONE: A New Home  & Dancing in the Blizzard

Saturday, July 11th at 7:00 p.m. Laura’s Prairie Summer: Episode TWO: Playing Games & Grasshoppers

Friday, July 17th at 7:00 p.m. Laura’s Prairie Summer: Episode THREE: Welcome Home, The Central Truth & Lemon Pie

Saturday, July 18th at 7:00 p.m. Laura’s Prairie Summer: Episode FOUR: Brotherly Love, Missed Opportunity & Town Council 

Friday, July 24th at 7:00 p.m. Laura’s Prairie Summer: Episode FIVE: Justice with No Peace & Under the Stars

Saturday, July 25th at 7:00 p.m. Laura’s Prairie Summer: Episode SIX: Vanity Takes the Cake & Making Laura’s Dream


Slayton Public Library opening

Slayton Public Library will reopen to the public on Wednesday, July 1st. Library hours will be 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. We will continue curbside pickup on Tuesdays and Fridays for those patrons that prefer to use that system.

Safety Procedures Include:

Patrons will be asked to use hand sanitizer when they enter the building.

We encourage patrons to wear masks.

Public restrooms will be closed.

All chairs have been put in storage.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

No children’s toys are available.

The community room is closed to organizations. 

The computer lab will reopen on Monday, July 13th. Patrons will be required to call the day before to schedule a time to use a computer. Patrons will be able to use the computer for 1 hour each day. We will clean the keyboard, mouse and chair after each patron.

Please remember that this is a situation that will change as time goes on and restrictions will loosen. We thank you in advance for following our new safety procedures to keep both our patrons and staff healthy.


Nobles Cooperative Electric holds annual meeting

Nobles Cooperative Electric (NCE) hosted its annual meeting on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. NCE Board President Ronald Schwartau welcomed the audience to the cooperative’s first ever conference call annual meeting.

The business meeting included reports from President Schwartau and Secretary Cindy Hokeness.

Attorney Chad Felstul from Pemberton Law P.L.L.P. announced the election results for the two board of directors and three nominating committee positions, with over 15 percent of NCE’s membership participating by mail-in ballot. Director Jerry Beckering was re-elected from District 4 and Director Bruce Barber was re-elected from District 6 to serve three-year terms. Nominating committee member candidates re-elected to serve three-year terms were Lyle Kramer from District 3 and Randy Buntjer from District 5; Daniel Bierma was elected from District 7.       

The board held a reorganization meeting and elected officers: Ronald Schwartau, president; Lee York, vice president; and Cindy Hokeness, secretary/treasurer.