A reminder, today, Sept. 29 is the deadline to apply for the Main Street COVID-19 Relief Grant Program funding available through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

A total of $64,200,000 is available in grants for Minnesota businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is being distributed in a 50/50 split between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota.

Successful applicants will receive a grant amount between $10,000 and $25,000 based on the number of full-time equivalent employees on staff.

This week Gov. Walz announced a $10 million drought relief package to support Minnesota farmers and livestock producers impacted by severe drought conditions during the 2021 growing season. The proposal includes $5 million in grants to provide drought relief for livestock producers and specialty crop producers. Examples of eligible costs include water handling equipment such as water tanks, pipeline, and water wagons, water hauling, wells, and irrigation equipment.

The other half of the proposal includes $5 million for the Rural Finance Authority’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program. The Rural Finance Authority’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program makes zero-interest loans available for Minnesota farmers whose operations are suffering from lack of rain. The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be used to help cover lost revenue or expenses not covered by insurance.

The final details on the application process are still being worked out. Monitor the Minnesota Department of Ag website for more details as they are made available.

On Wednesday, Talon Metals hosted an open house at the city park in Tamarack providing an opportunity for the community to meet with the company’s leadership and their employees, as well as an update on recent developments on mineral exploration efforts in the area.

Actual drill core samples were on display illustrating an exceptionally high-quality amount of nickel, as well as other important non-ferrous minerals. Nickel plays a critical role in developing the batteries necessary that supports reduction in the use of carbon-based energy sources.

It is apparent there is significant potential economic benefit to the local community, the region and state with respect to this project. At this time no detailed mining plan has been proposed, however rest assured any mining proposal will have to meet extensive state and federal environmental regulations before those activities may start. Stay tuned.

Dale Lueck (R) is the state representative for District 10B.

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