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EDA can help navigate economic assistance programs

Economic Development Authority Director

The Lake City Economic Development Authority (EDA) is actively working to support local businesses through this difficult time. While we certainly do not pretend to be able to forecast the complexities of the economic ramifications of a global pandemic, we are committed to our community.

Unemployment Insurance

People who need to file for unemployment can speed up that process by following these steps:

1. Apply online at The system is designed to be self-service. Just answer the questions as best you can and hit submit.

2. Find answers to your questions without calling. Start by clicking on the word “Applicants” in the upper left corner of the Unemployment Insurance website – and select from the menu options: What do I need to know? How do I apply? How do I get paid? What affects my benefits? These are designed to answer the questions most people have.

3. Callers may have a long wait and will be tying up phone lines the that are needed to help people who do not have any online access and to help those who need translators in order to apply for benefits.
 4. Get help from others. If you’re not comfortable filling out forms online, maybe you have a smart niece or nephew who can help walk you through it. You’re not alone. Nearly one million Minnesotans have used the Unemployment Insurance application in the past 10 years; most of us have family, friends, and neighbors who are familiar with the application process.

Have more questions about whether you qualify for Unemployment Insurance, how to apply and what the process is? Please visit the UI Need to Know page:

Emergency Loan Program for Minnesota Small Businesses

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is creating an emergency loan program to help Minnesota small business owners who need immediate assistance to meet their families’ basic needs during COVID-19 closures.

The loan program is intended to help businesses temporarily closed by the executive order which stopped onsite customer dining at restaurants and bars and closed an extensive list of other small businesses whose owners may not have adequate cash flow to withstand temporary closure.

Executive Order 20-15 directs DEED to create a Small Business Emergency Loan Program by making available $30 million from special revenue funds.

These dollars will be used by DEED’s lender network to make loans of between $2,500 and $35,000 for qualifying small businesses. The loans will be 50 percent forgivable, and offered at a 0 percent interest rate. If other financing becomes available to small businesses that received an emergency loan, such as federal funding, the emergency loan must be repaid.

These emergency loans will be made by an existing network of lenders DEED works with across the state. Depending on the size of the loans offered to businesses, DEED estimates this emergency loan program will provide needed resources to between 1,200 and 5,000 businesses.

DEED expects loan applications will available later this week through the lender network. Minnesota small businesses should send questions about this emergency loan program to

The executive order also allows local units of government or lending partners which have a revolving loan fund to use those funds to issue loans to retail and service providers for the next 90 days. DEED estimates that up to $28 million in capital could be accessible through local revolving loan funds and local governments through this action. Local partners will be looking at ways to deploy these resources to support their local businesses.

For the latest information from DEED for employers and businesses and workers, visit the DEED COVID-19 Information page on the DEED website:

Small Business Administration disaster loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans are now available.

Gov. Walz requested an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration from the SBA earlier this week. Online applications for these loans are open to Minnesota businesses at

This program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits.

These loans can go toward working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments that can’t be paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75 percent.

These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.

As the director of our local EDA, I’m working on these projects to do what we can to ease the pain. Please call or text my cell phone (480-406-3155) or email with inquiries and needs.

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