Thousands of South Dakota applicants still waiting on COVID-19 financial assistance

Capitol News Bureau
KELO money 100 dollar bills

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — January 31 is now the goal for getting money to potentially a few thousand of South Dakota small businesses that applied for aid to offset financial losses caused by COVID-19, a state government official said Monday.

The latest small business and healthcare grant summary for South Dakota on Monday showed state government received 4,983 applications from small businesses. So far 1,073 were paid while 1,707 were declared ineligible. The rest were under review.

Colin Keeler, director of financial systems in the state Bureau of Finance and Management, told KELOLAND News that 10,332 small business and healthcare grant applications had come in. He said $239.9 million has been paid.

The latest coronavirus relief package from Congress extended to December 31, 2021, the deadline for state governments to commit their allocations of federal coronavirus relief funds. The previous date was December 30, 2020. South Dakota received $1.25 billion.

According to Keeler, 75.4% of first-round applications were incomplete and required follow-up for corrections and clarifications.

He said the private vendor handling the process, Guidehouse Inc., has also been dealing with shifting guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Governor Kristi Noem’s administration has a $6 million contract with the Virginia company.

State government also hired Monte Kramer under a $98,605 contract to assist. He had retired as vice president of finance and administration from the central office for the state Board of Regents.

“We expect all applications to have an answer by January 29, and all monies to go out the door to approved applicants by January 31,” Keeler said.

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