Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funding

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funding

The CARES Act, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, “provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families, small businesses, and preserves jobs for American Industries.”

The Act provides for payments to state, local and tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The State of Minnesota distributed $853M to Minnesota communities, and the City of Northfield received $1,538,900 through the Federal CARES Act distribution.

Funds available for businesses and nonprofits

The City Council has allocated grant money for business and nonprofits.

  • $300,000 for businesses
  • $200,000 for nonprofits


Expenses must be accrued between March 1, 2020 and November 15, 2020. Applications from business and nonprofits must be received between September 8 and 30, 2020.

Goals of the funding

Goals are based on the CARES act guidelines and City Council feedback.

  • Stabilize the local economy
  • Stabilize households and provide social support
  • Stimulate the local economy for recovery
  • Invest strategically for long-term impact

Funds are available for all eligible Northfield businesses. To strive for greater equity during the recovery, the City Council is allocating a portion of the money to assist minority-owned businesses and nonprofits serving minorities and people with low incomes.

Eligibility guidelines - Pautas de elegibilidad

Business guidelines (English)

Pautas para los negocios (en español)

Nonprofits guidelines (English)

Pautas para organizacones sin fines de lucro (en español)

Applying for CARES funding - Solicitar fondos de La Ley de Ayuda, Alivio y Seguridad Económica por Coronavirus (CARES, sigla en inglés)

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Distributing funds

Distribution of funds need to comply with the Act, and aim to help stabilize and stimulate the local economy and provide relief to businesses and households.

Identified expenses

The City identified local organizations with time sensitive expenses that required immediate consideration. The City Council approved these expenses on August 18, 2020.

These time sensitive expenses total $508,625.

Food and food infrastructure

Community Action Center of Northfield (CAC) requested $145,000 to establish a satellite pantry at Greenvale School. This site will provide increased access to food to better serve communities in need.


  • Equipment, shelving, food stock: $80,000
  • Personnel to operationalize: $40,000
  • Distribution van: $25,000

Technology and access for learning and jobs

Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) requested $40,500 to secure laptops, Chromebook and internet access for adult learners, post-secondary and GED students with income or language barriers.

Business assistance/relief

Grants: $500,000

Outdoor seating and dining infrastructure

City-provided equipment and furnishings for outdoor dining and seating in the downtown area: $75,000

Staff will install one to three parklets with designs meeting ADA requirements and include furnishings. Earlier this summer, staff consulted with several businesses downtown who expressed interest in parklets within the City right-of-way on Division Street to provide outdoor seating. The City will construct, own and manage parklets that operate as public areas for seating, recreating and dining.

Additional areas for public seating and dining may include along the river and the Riverwalk, and adjacent or nearby areas.

Potential expenses for this item include:

  • Parklet structures
  • Furniture
  • Umbrellas
  • Propane heaters


Through the Minnesota Housing Board’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP funds) via CARES funds. These agencies will administer CHAP funds distribution within Northfield and the greater region:

  • Community Action Center of Northfield (CAC) received $184,000 in CHAP funds
  • Three Rivers received $2,000,000 in CHAP funds

Additionally, the Northfield HRA committed $50,000 to CAC for housing support, including rent and mortgage assistance.

Related information

League of Minnesota Cities - CARES Act funding

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - CARES Act provider relief

U.S. Department of Treasury CARES policy

  1. Nate Carlson Head Shot

    Nate Carlson

    Economic Development Coordinator
    Phone: 507-645-3069

  2. Mitzi Baker

    Mitzi Baker

    Community Development Director
    Phone: 507-645-3005