After distributing more than $6 million in federal funding to small businesses, St. Louis County is opening another round of funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Businesses and nonprofits can apply for grant funding starting 8 a.m. Monday, which also marks the end of its first phase of funding distribution. Over 250 St. Louis County businesses have already applied for the first phase of funding, a news release from the county said.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is funding the county's distribution of small business relief grants.

The second phase of funding provides emergency grants up to $50,000 for businesses and nonprofits with less than 100 employees, the release said.

They can use funding for expenses related to COVID-19, like personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, signs and safety barriers. It can also be used for expenses related to business interruptions caused by the Gov. Tim Walz's executive orders that temporarily closed businesses.

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Businesses can cover up to 50% of rent, mortgage and utilities with the funding, as well as expenses related to temporary closures like loss of contracts, events, bookings and cancellations. Additionally, it can be used for payroll not covered by the Payroll Protection Program and other funding programs, according to the release.

Businesses that received funding during the first round can apply for second-round funding if they experienced new or unreimbursed expenses.

"Throughout Phase One, we've been receiving applications from businesses throughout the county, the majority of which actually have 10 or fewer employees, so we know this funding is making a real difference in helping these businesses address unexpected expenses caused by the pandemic," County Board Chair Mike Jugovich said in the release.

Phase One funding was for businesses or nonprofits with less than 25 employees. It can be used for expenses related to COVID-19, similar to those of the second phase. Funding up to $1,000 per employee is available, the release said.

Applications for the second round of funding close Sept. 28.

More information is available at www.stlouiscountymn.gov/cares.