SARTELL -- Sartell officials are spreading a little cheer Wednesday as they distribute nearly $1-million to several local businesses.

The funding was made possible through Sartell's Small Business Relief Program, as a way to help area business impacted by COVID-19.

City Administrator Anna Gruber says when the city learned they would be receiving $1.4-million in CARES Act funding, they knew they wanted to spread out those funds to the business community.

Immediately upon knowing we would be receiving that money, we knew we had to give a portion to the businesses. We knew there was going to be an amount, we weren't sure how much, but we knew we had to do something.

Gruber says they originally set aside $250,000, but were able to receive an additional $635,000 through Stearns County.

Nearly 70 Sartell businesses applied for the grant program and will be getting a check between $500 to $15,000 to help cover expenses brought on by COVID-19.

Jason Mathiasen owns Great River Bowl and Partners Pub. He says this is just another example of how the city has gone above and beyond for local businesses.

The city of Sartell has been amazing. They bent over backwards to help all the businesses this summer with the patio stuff. All those little pieces make a big different to us and it's one of those bright spots in the middle of what we are dealing with.

Mathiasen says they continue to see a slow increase in customers on the bowling side of things and are thankful for the expanded restaurant regulations to allow for larger groups sizes as they winter months draw near.

Gruber says while the funding may not fully cover the losses brought on by the pandemic, it's shows the city's commitment in helping businesses in any way they can.

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