A second round of applications for COVID relief opened this week, giving businesses in the state who’ve seen at least a 15 percent decrease from last year, a chance to boost their business.

“If we can get something after the holiday season and help us get through the next month or two, it’s a good time,” McNally’s Irish Pub owner Nicki Ellerbroek said.

Ellerbroek  applied for the first round of South Dakota’s grant program back in October, covering the impact to her business from March through August.

“We’re down I would say 40 percent,” Nicki Ellerbroek said.

Her first grant application is still processing, like many of the nearly 6,000 small businesses that applied in October.

“They’re just hanging in limbo, we get calls and emails daily,”  Theresa Koscak, the tax manager for Wilson Hanson & Blom, LLP.

Theresa Kosack works at an accounting firm where she helped 27 clients apply for the grant in October.

“We’ve had two confirmations get their award amounts and that just happened yesterday,” Koscak said.

“There’s a number of them that have not been done,” Cassie Stoeser, the Finance Director for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development said.

Stoeser says the consultants running the grant program are working extra hours to process all of the applications. Soon they’ll also have the new round of applications for September through November losses.

“Businesses only have until December 20th, this Sunday, so only a very short time period but that’s because the CRF dollars need to allocated by the end of the year,” Stoeser said.

Businesses that applied in October can apply again this week.

“The process was very, very cumbersome, and if it was cumbersome for us, I can’t even imagine a business applying on their own,” Kosack said.

Stoeser says the process has been simplified for the smallest businesses who have less than $150,000 in revenue and that the application will be much faster for second time applicants.

“Get started on it right away, give yourself time to collect the information you need,” Ellerbroek said.

Ellerbroek says the effort to apply is worth it to get any kind of help during this difficult season.

“Currently with the numbers of covid cases rising and flu season, we’re hit harder than we were this summer when it first started,” Ellerbroek said.

“Right now they’re struggling, it’s wintertime, it’s the holidays, people don’t have money, it’s definitely more of an impact this time frame from the September to October, than it was that first one,” Kosack said. The grants are for any year-over-year losses. If you have any questions about how to apply or if your business, healthcare company or nonprofit might qualify you can call 605-937-7243 or email or visit their website.