Treatyland

Hennepin County allots $5M for gyms, theaters, entertainment venues

Hennepin County officials allotted $5 million Friday for locally owned gyms, fitness facilities and other indoor recreation and entertainment venues with up to 50 employees that will be affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

Businesses eligible for $15,000 grants include climbing facilities, trampoline parks, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, museums, stadiums, arcades, bowling alleys and martial arts, dance and exercise studios. The application deadline is noon on Dec. 2.

Gov. Tim Walz this week ordered bars, restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues to close Saturday through Dec. 18. The County Board on Wednesday approved $8 million for bars and restaurants.

To be eligible for relief funding, a business must be a fixed, permanent commercial establishment in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State and current on property tax payments. If a business has multiple locations, it can receive up to three additional grants.

County officials learned this week from the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development that restaurant employment in Hennepin County, before this week’s restrictions, was down 48.7% compared to this time last year. That reflects a loss of 25,912 jobs in the county.

DAVID CHANEN

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