St. Louis County has received funds from the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The County Board has approved a distribution plan for these funds, including $6 million for Small Business Assistance and $6 million for Community/Individual Assistance.

Community Assistance Program funds will be allocated to organizations that serve populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and support people in priority settings.

Individual Assistance provides limited assistance for individuals/families who, due to the impact of COVID-19, are in a crisis situation such as being without, or at risk of losing, housing, utilities, or transportation that would affect gaining/maintaining employment.

Small Business Assistance grants will be awarded in two phases to help businesses with expenses associating with adapting and continuing to operate during the pandemic, such as costs for PPE, cleaning supplies, signage, safety barriers etc.

Community Assistance

CARES Act Community Assistance Program
St. Louis County CARES Act Community Assistance funds will be utilized to support community organizations who serve members of our community who are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
These organizations include, but are not limited to, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, community based services, mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services, and those that provide services to individuals housed in our board and lodges and/or connected to our housing programs.
The intent is to strengthen organizations in our core human service areas that have been (and continue to be) particularly impacted by this emergency as they modify services so that they can continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities.
CARES Act funding will be available to cover COVID-19 related costs for organizations serving priority settings and populations, in accordance with MDH priorities, with funding levels based on the number of people served.
  • St. Louis County Public Health COVID-19 planning and response priority settings include, but are not limited to, congregate living settings such as long term care facilities, group homes, and shelters.
  • Priority populations include Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities, people experiencing homelessness and housing instability, the elderly, LGBTQIA2S communities and people with disabilities.
  • CARES dollars will be vetted and prioritized to fill the gaps that remain for organizations and individuals/families where other funding streams have been inadequate. This is critical in ensuring equity and access for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Organizations may apply for assistance for necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PPE, physical modifications, additional staffing). Organizations also can apply for service expansion and related programmatic expenses (incurred or proposed) related to COVID-19 such as increasing food access, food shelves, meal delivery and mask distribution for community members.
The CARES Act requires that payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund be used only to cover expenses that:
  • Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  • Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020, (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the state or local government or reflect a substantially different use of budget funds from what was intended when the budget was adopted; and
  • Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 1, 2020.
CARES Act funds not expended by December 1, 2020, must be returned to the Federal Government and CARES Act funds cannot be used to replace lost revenue for government entities.
Application Process
Application Window Opens: August 26 9 am   
Informational Session #1: August 27 12 (noon) [sign-up today!]
Informational Session #2: August 31 10 am  [sign-up today!]
Application Deadline: September 8 12 (noon)   

Review Process
Review Period Opens:   September 8 1 pm   
Review Period Closes: September 15 5 pm   
Decision Notification: September 25 12 (noon)   
We will be hosting and recording two information sessions as indicated above. Pre-registration is required to attend. For anyone unable to attend one of the sessions, we will post the recording the following day on the website noted above. 
Only complete applications meeting all minimum qualifications will be considered for funding:
  • At least one (1) paid employee
  • Non-Sole proprietorship
  • Project or program serves a priority population and/or
  • Project or program operates in a priority setting
  • Organization is based in and serves St. Louis County
  • Costs incurred are directly related to COVID-19

Applications that meet minimal eligibility requirements will be sent for review completed by a Community Review Team. We are finalizing a sample application and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that will be available soon. The Zoom information sessions will cover both the application and provide opportunity to get questions answered. We highly recommend you attend or listen to one of the information sessions.Content presented at the information sessions will be the same, so attending both is not necessary. The County will respond to questions within two business days. Please ensure all questions are submitted no later than September 3 to guarantee a response.
The application will launch the week of August 24.

Phone: 218-726-2033

Individual Assistance

There are two funding sources available to help people who are behind in rent, mortgage, and utilities due to COVID-19. The first funding source is the COVID19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP). MN Housing awarded St. Louis County $3.2 million in CHAP funding to assist households impacted by COVID-19. Households in public housing, Section 8, Bridges and other subsidized housing programs are not eligible for CHAP funding. If you do not live in subsidized housing (e.g. section 8 voucher, rent is determined by income), please apply now for CHAP funding here:  For questions or assistance with CHAP application, call 2-1-1.

If you do live in subsidized housing or have other COVID19 related costs (car repair, appliance repair), please read below for more information and the link to the application for CARES Individual Assistance funds. Note: the deadline to apply for Individual Assistance is 11/16/20.

St. Louis County CARES Act Individual/Family Assistance funds will be used to meet the emergency needs of eligible individuals and families who are residents of St. Louis County. The total funds available are limited to the amount authorized by the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners for the emergency program funded through the CARES Act.
In order to apply, individuals/families must be in an emergency situation due to the impact of COVID19. An emergency situation is defined as being without, or at risk of losing, housing, utilities, or transportation that would affect gaining or maintaining meaningful employment, or needing assistance with other unexpected COVID19 related emergencies. 
All assistance will be paid directly to the applicable vendor including but not limited to landlords, mortgage companies, utility companies, licensed repair person, etc. 
For more information on eligible expenses:
* Please download the Paper Application, fill out, and send to:
320 West Second Street, 101
Duluth MN 55802
Phone: 218-726-2033

Small Business Relief Grants

Assistance for Small BusinessSmall Business Relief Grants Available
The St. Louis County Board of Commissioners approved $6 million in Small Business COVID Relief Grants which will be distributed in two (2) phases to qualifying businesses adversely impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Phase 2: Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants 

(Application Period Closed)
Applications are being processed daily for Phase 2 grant assistance. If you have any questions on the status of your application please contact us at:

Phase 1: Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants 

(Application Period Closed)
Applications are being processed daily for Phase 1 grant assistance. If you have any questions on the status of your application please contact us at:

Subscribe E-Subscribe to Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program News 

This is a self-managed electronic subscription service where you can subscribe and unsubscribe anytime. This electronic news will keep you updated with information about the County’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Programs and other important news. Click icon to subscribe.

Phone: 218-726-2033