BISMARCK — Applications for the North Dakota Department of Commerce's $54 million Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant are scheduled to open Friday, Nov. 20, the department announced Tuesday.

Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant applications will be open from 10 a.m. Nov. 20 to 5 p.m. Dec. 4. The HERG program was created to follow the Economic Resiliency Grant program, which paid out $32 million across approximately 1,800 grants earlier during the COVID-19 pandemic. The HERG program specifically focuses on hospitality businesses such as restaurants, bars, breweries, cafes and other on-site dining establishments

"As we continue to navigate and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of North Dakota remains committed to finding solutions to help alleviate the impacts on businesses while mitigating the spread of disease," North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said via news release. "We are grateful to have the ability to offer the HERG to businesses that are vital to employment, tourism and the quality of life for our residents and guests."

Other eligible venues include "theaters, drama, music and entertainment venues, as well as professional production companies who support major venues, meetings and events," the release said.

Grant funds must be used to reimburse eligible entities for operational costs such as payroll, rent, utilities and other expenses. Eligible expenses must have been incurred on or after March 27 and no later than the application date.

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"The Commerce team is honored to have the opportunity to continue leading efforts to promote resiliency among North Dakota's hospitality community," Interim Commerce Commissioner Shawn Kessel said via news release. "We hope this grant ensures these businesses remain open and continue to be strong pillars for our communities."

Applicants may receive up to $25,000 or $75,000 for those with multiple locations. A maximum of $25,000 is allowed per location.

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