The North Dakota Emergency Commission on Tuesday approved an additional $ 50 million in coronavirus aid for businesses through the state bank of North Dakota.
The program still requires the approval of the Budget Section of the Legislature, which will meet on September 17.
The money comes from the $ 1.25 billion that the state received from the federal CARES Act economic bailout package. The bank returned $ 120 million of unused funds to the Emergency Relocation Commission after administering previous loan relief programs that had been overfunded.
The new program allocates $ 50 million to provide $ 50,000 in grants to companies affected by the pandemic for interest rate relief on loans, Prairie Public reported. The money would be administered through local banks.
“I know many of you have talked to bankers, entrepreneurs and have come to the conclusion that this program will attract a lot of interest from many companies,” Eric Hardmeyer, president and CEO of the bank, governor, secretary of state, leader of majority in the House and Senate and chairmen of the appropriations committees.
Last month Hardmeyer unveiled the concept of reducing interest on loans for businesses affected by the pandemic, using unused CARES Act money. That proposal was shelved, with committee lawmakers not feeling comfortable voting on a concept. They asked for more details before deciding on approval.