Taconite Area Community Relief grant assists 10 businesses in Virginia

Virginia was one of 12 northeastern Minnesota communities that received a Taconite Area Community Relief grant from Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation. The city received a $200,000 grant and combined it with $115,000 from the city and $50,000 from Virginia Community Foundation to create a lending pool of $365,000. Virginia to date has provided over $166,400 in loans to 10 businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loans combined impacted 21 full-time jobs, and many are in the retail and service industries. Additional loans with the remaining $198,600 have been committed to other businesses and will be expended in the coming weeks.

The 10 businesses received zero-interest forgivable loans with a five-year payback clause.

“Just prior to the onset of the COVID pandemic, the city of Virginia and Virginia Economic Development Authority launched phase one of a Downtown Redevelopment Program,” said City Administrator Britt See-Benes. “We were able to launch phase two with the COVID Community Relief grant from Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation.”

See-Benes explained that many of the businesses located within Virginia’s Redevelopment District were temporarily closed last year due to statewide restrictions. This created a situation where much needed building repairs were deferred. The downtown redevelopment will help improve Virginia’s commercial tax base and encourage economic development in the downtown district.