Lake of the Woods County Awarded $250,000 For Small Business Grants

Grants Lake of the Woods

Per the COVID Relief Bill signed by Governor Walz on December 16, 2020, Lake of the Woods County is being awarded $250,000 to provide grants to local businesses and non-profits impacted by the current pandemic.  The Lake of the Woods Economic Development Authority will solicitation, review, and authorize grant awards on behalf of Lake of the Woods County to eligible businesses in the County.

For Application Materials, Click Here

Grant Eligibility:
•                     Businesses and non-profits must be located in Lake of the Woods County
•                     Businesses must have no tax liens as of date of application
•                     Businesses must be registered with the MN Secretary of State –Active & in Good-Standing
•                     Business must demonstrate a decline in revenue from 2019 to 2020
•                     New businesses may apply and will be evaluated based on demonstrated pandemic impact
•                     Businesses with physical storefronts and employees will be given priority over self-employed and home-based businesses
•                     Non-profit organizations that have business-like revenue sources are eligible, (i.e. product/service sales, ticket sales, membership fees)

Grant Information: Maximum grant amount per legal business/non-profit entity is targeted at $20,000; however, award amounts will be based on the number of eligible applications received and funding priorities. Click here to view eligible expenses and more details.

Applications will be evaluated primarily on the impact of public health closure and revenue decline from 2019 to 2020. However, data will be collected on several other factors that may influence the award amount such as fixed operating costs, COVID Relief funding to-date, and industry.

For Application Materials, Click Here

Completed Application Forms should be emailed to

Should you have any questions, please contact Ryan Zemek, 218-333-6541

Application deadline: January 29th, 2021 (5:00 pm)

Business Spotlight: Fitness on Main

Fitness on Main Baudette

Originally from Northern Minnesota, after service in the Navy, Chad Fulton found his way to Long Beach California, where he met and married Vikki Fulton. Wanting to be closer to Chad’s family, the Fulton’s moved back to Baudette in 2002. It was quite the change of pace for the Fulton’s leaving Long Beach, but one that was welcome. Vikki said,

“I really appreciated how comfortable and safe I feel in Baudette, you get to know people much easier here than in other communities.”

Even in a pandemic, people find ways to follow their dreams and start a business and that’s just what Chad and Vikki Fulton did when they recently opened Fitness of on Main Virtual Studio and Gym opened in Baudette. After buying and renovating a building on Main Street in 2018, the Fulton’s saw a need for a fitness center. “We went to the community to help come up with a plan for the commercial space. We put out a survey asking the question “what could our community use” The answer came back, a gym and fitness studio!

The gym opened on September 28th, 2020 and includes treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbent bikes, a power rack, pulley unit, benches, dumbbells, and kettlebells. The 23’X29’ virtual studio, provides over 350 virtual fitness classes to users anytime, anywhere. The gym also has 3 ADA accessible bathrooms with showers. Memberships are available at a monthly rate or discounted rates are available for semi-annual or annual memberships. Members have 24-hour access to the building with a key fob. Special discounts are available for families, with 10 per month for each additional person. Discounts are also available to members of law enforcement and veterans.

As with everyone else, the Fulton’s plans for 2020 have been altered with rapid spread of Coronavirus, but they and their Manager Ari Lopez, are doing their utmost to ensure people can exercise as safely as possible. This includes measures such as encouraging masks to be worn, when not using actively exercising, limiting capacity to keep the gym from getting crowded, routine disinfection of all equipment including machines and weights before and using bottle fillers instead of a drinking fountain.

Outside of owning a gym, Chad works for the United States Border patrol and Vikki works as a nurse at Lakewood Health Center. When they’re not busy with work and operating their business, the Fulton’s like to spend time with friends, play cards, and enjoy the outdoors. For more information about Fitness on Main, you can check out or call (218) 760-1147.

New Business: Lake of the Woods Electric

Lake of the Woods Electric

After spending years vacationing in Lake of the Woods, Robert, and Jessica Carlson and their daughters Mackenzie and Taylor, decided to skip the commute and make the decision to live in Lake of the Woods full time.

“We were spending nearly every weekend at the Lake and as always dreaded having to drive back.”

Lake of the Woods Electric

Originally from Duluth MN, Robert, went to school at Lake Superior College to become an electrician. After a 5-year apprenticeship, he became a Journeyman. Throughout his career, he was able to get experience in a variety of different areas of the trade from large industrial electrical contracting to residential wiring, even acting as an instructor to aspiring electricians at his alma mater.

The Carlson had been coming to Lake of the Woods to ice fish since the Mid 1990s and were encouraged to spend time in the area during the summer as well. Their first summer trip was in 2001 and they fell in love with the area. One trip a year turned into 6 or 7, and the Carlson’s decided to buy a property on West Zippel Bay. They soon were spending every free weekend coming to Lake of the Woods to get away from the stresses of metro living. In 2017, they made the decision to make the move permanently.

“One weekend, my wife said to me I don’t want to go back, I’m staying at the cabin. We felt it was the right age for the kids and wanted to slow things down, so we made the move.”

After spending the last 3 years working for Marvin Windows in Warroad, Robert decided to use his 20+ experience and go into business for himself. Robert began working on his business idea in June and this September, officially launched Lake of the Woods Electric. Lake of the Woods Electric is a full-service, licensed, bonded, and insured class A electrical contractor company. They serve the entire Lake of the Woods region and provide service on everything for small residential jobs to industry-specific service.

When away from work and school, the Carlson Family loves to enjoy the area’s outstanding outdoor amenities. Their advice for anyone considering a move to Lake of the Woods:

“If you’re looking for a different lifestyle, It’s the perfect place to be. It’s a great place for the kids to grow up, everyone we’ve met has welcomed us with open arms.”

To find out more about Lake of the Woods Electric check out, call Robert at (218) 434-1213 or email

Riley Stromlund, 16 Year Old Entrepreneur | Lake of the Woods, MN

Riley Stromlund, Fishing Lures

What does 16-year-old Riley Stromlund have in common with billionaires Jeff Bezos, Mark Cuban, and Richard Branson? They all started their first business before graduating from high school.


Riley Stromlund is not only a goalie for Lake of the Woods High School’s hockey team in Baudette, MN, he’s also a golfer, an avid outdoorsman, and an ENTREPRENEUR!

When Riley isn’t studying for school or playing sports you’ll likely find Riley designing custom painted fishing lures for anglers who fish the famous waters of Lake of the Woods, the Rainy River, really, anywhere across the country. “The first lure I made I carved out of wood and painted it. It peaked my interest! It was after that when I got an airbrush and started painting blanks that we ordered online.”

Riley is self taught, “I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos. I’ve learned to make my own stencils and different techniques to paint them.” His sunfish and blue gill pattern are his favorite because “They are the most detailed”.

His favorite part about painting lures, “It’s relaxing and I get to be creative. I listen to music and just paint! I also like hearing people who have caught fish on one of my lures.”

Riley Stromlund, Fishing Lures

The summer of 2020, a customer caught a 30” walleye on Lake of the Woods using one of Riley’s lures, “That was exciting!” Not only do his lures catch legendary walleye’s he also caught pretty big Northern’s when he’s taken them to the dock to test run them.

Fishing Lures Lake of the Woods

You’ll find Riley’s fishing lures on local Facebook swap and sell sites or you may purchase his lures locally at his mom’s Salon, K-Salon, in Baudette. Each lures sells for $10. Not able to make it to Baudette, but still want to purchase a lure, click here to message K-Salon.

Riley Stromlund, Fishing Lures                               Riley Stromlund, Entrepreneur                               Riley Stromlund, Fishing Lures

Announcing HRFC Covid-19 Relief Loan Fund


HRDC and HRFC are pleased to announce the rollout of our new Covid-19 Relief Loan Fund. This program is the result of a $3.14 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration and funded by the CARES Act. The purpose is to help businesses that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19.


A few notes about the Covid-19 Relief Loan Fund:

    • Eligible borrowers are businesses that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19. Start-ups will be considered if they are filling an essential service in their community.
    • Flexible terms.
    • Starting interest rates as low as 0% with adjustments made according to term and collateral.
    • Loans will be made to businesses in five county region: Beltrami, Mahnomen, Clearwater, Hubbard, and Lake of the Woods.

Sarah Linda is the main contact for the program (contact information below), but you can also reach out to Tiffany Fettig at (Underwriter) or Vicky Hetteen at (Support Specialist).

Direct: 218-333-6536
Cell: 218-214-2848
General: 218-444-4732

Lake of the Woods EDA Small Business Recovery Fund

To support and assist local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


To provide emergency recovery support to small local businesses in Lake of the Woods County adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lake of the Woods County Economic Development Authority (EDA) Small Business Recovery Fund will aid of up to $20,000 to small businesses most in need of support. Funds will help businesses pay for critical expenses such as current payroll obligations, rent payments, mortgage payments, utilities, and payments to suppliers. Providing this support will increase the capacity of small businesses with a physical location in Lake of the Woods County to rebound from the current crisis and will help prevent potential future blight scenarios. The Small Business Recovery fund was made possible by CARES ACT funds with the authorization of the Lake of the Woods County Board of Commissioners and other local government units.

Funding Availability:

  • Applications will be available at the announcement of funding (expected about August 14, 2020).
  • Applications will be due to Lake of the Woods (expected August 28th, 2020).
  • All applications will be reviewed by the funding committee within two weeks of the closing of the application period.
  • Awards will be made within one week of the committee meeting (expected by September 4th, 2020).
  • If funds are still available after the first round of funding, the EDA may solicit additional applications.


  • Be able to demonstrate that they were directly and adversely affected by COVID – 19 (The recipient must be able to demonstrate a significant reduction in revenues as calculated by monthly sales from the period March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 compared to the prior year sales for the same time period).
  • Have a physical location in Lake of the Woods County.
  • Priority will be placed on businesses who’ve experienced a significant decline in revenue, faced closure due to Executive orders, or experienced other extraordinary hardships due to the pandemic.
  • Must be current on all financial obligations as of March 1, 2020.
  • Eligible Activities Included but not limited to:
      • Working Capital
      • Inventory and Equipment to resume operations
      • Business investments that will make the business more resilient to future disruptions.
      • Other operational expenditures necessary to keep the business from closing.
  • Ineligible Activities include:
      • Direct selling, multi-level marketing businesses, etc.
      • Home-based businesses without a physical establishment (except child care business)
      • Businesses in default conditions prior to February 29, 2020
      • Businesses that primarily derive income from gambling
  • Approval Authority
    • The EDA will have the ultimate authority to approve or deny applications on a case-by-case basis and may impose certain conditions on approved projects.


All funds granted under this program shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:

  • Project participation is limited based on the availability of program funds.
  • The EDA will provide the business financial assistance in the form of a grant.
  • The minimum assistance granted under this program shall be $2,500 and the maximum shall be $20,000 per business.
  • Funding level is based on the total impact resulting from the pandemic during the period March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020, number of applicants and the total funds that are available.
  • Businesses are eligible to receive the amount of the reduction due to the pandemic for the time period less any other funding received, up to the maximum assistance available.
  • Subsequent funding round applicants may receive additional resources up to the total amount of loss, based on availability of funding.


  • Applicant submits application to the EDA. Including the following materials
  • Either prepared financial statements for a 2 – year period, historical cash flow, income statement, OR 2 years tax returns
  • Documentation of other assistance received.
  • The EDA reviews application and approves or denies request. If approved, the EDA may place conditions on the proposed project.
    • If denied, applicant may submit a revised application and repeat process.
    • “Assistance Agreement” is drafted by that identifies the terms of the agreement. All parties execute said letter.