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Aitkin, Crow Wing counties receive COVID-19 relief funding

The grants will go toward broadband improvement in each county.

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Aitkin and Crow Wing counties received grants for broadband improvement from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The Small Cities Coronavirus Community Development Block Grant Program awarded $34,656,956 in grants to 15 Minnesota cities and counties as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Aitkin County received $4,823,654, while Crow Wing County received $4,495,340.

Most of the funding allocated to the 15 entities will be used for broadband improvement projects, while other uses include housing assistance, food shelf assistance, retrofitting buildings and commercial rehabilitation projects.These uses were determined through an open community input process and approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The pandemic has made clear how vital broadband is to the lives of Minnesotans and to the economic vitality of our state,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove stated in a news release. “These grants will help communities fund broadband and other important projects as we write the next chapter of our economy.”

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Applications were rated according to need, impact and cost effectiveness. Funds are intended for projects that are focused on the locality and that will be used primarily for low- and moderate-income residents. For more about the grant process, visit https://bit.ly/3iGDbAV .

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit mn.gov/deed or follow DEED on Twitter.

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