First In-Person Baxter City Council Meeting in 14 Months – BLAEDC Updates
The Baxter city council members met for the first time since March 27th of 2020 after all city council meetings were conducted virtually since they declared a local emergency in the wake of the corona virus.
The executive director of the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp., Tyler Glynn was first on the agenda with updates about area child care and coronavirus relief funding.
Glynn stated that BLAEDC conducted a child care study, which included surveys to businesses, private in-home daycares, school districts, and focus groups. Glynn noted, “Certainly one of the biggest issues that we face in Crow Wing County is a very, very large shortage of child care…And it is an issue that is throughout the state but it is very prevalent here in Crow Wing County.” The study shows the area has lost 30-35 in-home daycare facilities in the area during the pandemic. “We have 4-500 open slots here in Crow Wing County as of today that are without child care. It is a very large need in our community.” Glynn stated.
Glynn also provided an overview of money administered through the 2020 coronavirus relief funds and economic assistance grants from the state. BLAEDC handled the grants to for-profit companies and the United Way handled the grants to nonprofits in Crow Wing County.
Overall, 116 businesses were assisted in Baxter and funded through the relief funds to include just over $1 million. The funds were able to assist in identifying some shortcomings such as technology upgrades for companies, in some cases.
Funding requests totaled $2.3 million with 247 applications received; out of those received, 70 applications were approved for funding in Baxter with $899,150 allocated to those approved. $3.69 million was allocated to Crow Wing County with 11 nonprofits in Baxter receiving $99,006.