Archived Story

6 New Richland businesses get flood aid

Published 9:34am Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Six businesses in New Richland were chosen to receive grant funding for damages sustained in the Sept. 22 floods.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation announced last week the allocation of $314,000 in grants to more than 80 businesses affected by the September flood across the southern region of the state.

The New Richland businesses receiving grants include: New Richland Auto Repair, $3,340; Midwest Repairables Inc., $1,472; Morgan’s Meat Market, $4,500; Aspen Car Wash, $3,938; Trapper’s Lanes, $4,500; and the New Richland Care Center, $4,500.

Dean Morgan, owner of Morgan’s Meat Market, said the funding received by his business was used to repair equipment, restock inventory and went toward construction costs.

Morgan’s closed Sept. 23. The processing operations were down for four weeks after the flood hit, and the retail center reopened just last Friday.

He said the grant was a big help in reopening.

“We’re still getting a little bit of help from insurance and a few other organizations,” he said. “It’s a combination of all of these that have helped us get going again.”

A grand reopening will also be scheduled at Morgan’s Meat Market in January.

According to Carol Cerney, chief operations officer at SMIF, the businesses were chosen based on an application process.

“The funds were calibrated according to loss from flooding,” she said.

This opportunity was originally announced within a couple of weeks from when the flooding occurred, when SMIF and AgStar partnered up to initiate the fund with $25,000 each.

Businesses filled out an application and attached receipts to verify damages. Business recovery grants of up to $4,500 were available to each business chosen.

“These grants are helping businesses meet uncompensated losses and support the long-term economic vitality of the affected communities,” Cerney said.

“Our foundation’s primary goal was to provide this assistance as quickly as possible,” said SMIF President Tim Penny.  “Thanks to the swift response from our funding partners, we were able to provide quick start grants to help business owners cover part of the cost of repairing their facilities, replacing office equipment, and refurbishing supplies and inventory.”

SMIF and AgStar Financial Services initiated the business recovery grant funding with $25,000 each. Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development provided additional support with their $150,000 matching award.

Other major supporters include the McKnight Foundation ($25,000), Mayo Clinic ($25,000), Wells Fargo ($25,000), Blandin Foundation ($20,000), AgriBank ($10,000), Valley Design ($5,000), F&M Community Bank ($2,000), Abdo Eick & Meyers ($1,000) and First National Bank, Plainview ($1,000).

Grants were available to businesses within 18 counties. According to Cerney, the largest number of affected businesses was in Owatonna where SMIF awarded 18 grants to businesses. She said another community hard hit was Zumbro Falls where 14 businesses received grants.

SMIF is a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in 20 Minnesota counties. The foundation has provided more than $44 million in grants and loans within the region during the past 24 years. SMIF’s key interests include early childhood programs, workforce readiness and economic development with a focus on emerging bioscience and renewable energy businesses.

Damages received at each New Richland business receiving SMIF grant funding:

• New Richland Auto Repair received 18 inches of water throughout the business, causing the loss of an alignment machine, diagnostic scan tool, much inventory and the flooring throughout the office. The office cupboards, chairs, counters, and the walls were ruined 18 inches up from the floor.
• Midwest Repairables Inc. reported some vehicles in the lot were flooded. The building itself had almost two feet of water in it, ruining some office furniture and the sheetrock in the office/bathroom. Electrical wiring had to be redone, as well.
• Morgan’s Meat Market replaced one freezer, two coolers, all interior walls, and a sidewalk, which is now sloping toward the store. Now when it rains, the water runs toward the store, and most of the equipment and supplies have to be replaced.
• Aspen Car Wash reportedly received 22 inches of water in the building.  Insulation had to be replaced and framing repaired.
• Trapper’s Lanes, which received nearly five feet of water in the basement alone, received damages of the hot water heater, freezer, dehumidifier, furnace, pro shop, pop canister, four AMF electric monitors, two electric wall chassis, machine parts, lane conditioner machine, ice machine, washer, dryer, carpet shampooer and restaurant steamer.
• The New Richland Care Center sustained damages where water came in the heating/cooling units in each resident room, leaving four to six inches of water on the floor throughout the entire building, causing damage to sheetrock, carpeting and 37 heating/cooling units.