PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota businesses whose managers can document their operations have been financially hurt during the COVID-19 pandemic could qualify for grants under a state government program Governor Kristi Noem announced Wednesday.
She plans to use at least $200 million of federal Coronovirus Relief Funds and could spend more, depending on whether state governments have to commit their shares no later than December 30. South Dakota received $1.25 billion.
The plan comes just days before legislative committees begin meeting to hear from the public about South Dakota’s COVID-19 needs.
“I hope that this proposal will help folks stay open and overcome the unprecedented times we’ve faced these last several months,” Noem said in a tweet Wednesday after the announcement. The Republican governor added, “I look forward to discussing this proposal with the legislature.”
House Speaker Steven Haugaard sent a letter to Noem last month carrying the names of 46 representatives seeking a special legislative session.
“I would like to see the Legislature engaged in this process,” Haugaard, a Sioux Falls Republican, said Wednesday. He said Representative Chris Karr, a Sioux Falls Republican who co-chairs the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, has been discussing similar ideas.
The Legislature on March 31 approved the governor’s proposal for a $11 million small-business disaster relief fund that provided loans up to $75,000 at 0% interest.
The governor announced on September 3 a $75 million program for K-12 public and private schools from Coronavirus Relief Funds.
This is a developing story.