MINOT, N.D. – The latest North Dakota Department of Commerce grant is targeting hotels and the hospitality industry.
Hotels like the Grand International in Minot employ staff from all walks of life and have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Management here welcome news of more support from the state.
“I think this is a great step forward. It’s going to help a lot of people. Hotels are the third largest economic driver of the state that employs tons and tons of people that live here locally in North Dakota ‚” said Gabriel Mejia, Grand Hotel general manager.
Funded by the CARES Act, the grant is aimed at the industry, which department leaders say is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
“These businesses are struggling mightily just to stay afloat, so we revised the premise again for the HERG+ to reflect that market and we are now asking hotels, motels, lodges and resorts to apply,” said Interim Commerce Director Shawn Kessel.
Staff said they are staying positive, and looking forward to the coming season.
“Depending how quickly the vaccine is coming out hopefully sports gets back on and that’s usually big economic drivers for hotels. We’re hoping that March all youth sports gets back going and that’ll really help everybody be a little more economically stable,” said Mejia.
The grant offers $40,000 per business. At the end of the program’s first day, they already had more than $7 million worth of requests. Commerce staff say more than $8 million are available for the program.
The deadline to apply is Dec. 18. The state has to use all CARES Act funding by the end of the year or it expires.
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