CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council Monday night approved three economic incentive initiatives related to the COVID-19 crisis. The council approved making a $100,000 financial allocation to the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation’s “Small Business Recovery & Continuity Fund”. The fund would help small, independently-owned businesses with less than 25 employees that are suffering during the public health emergency with grants up to $5000. The other two initiatives allocate $10,000 to the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce to support and underwrite costs associated with enhanced “shop local” marketing efforts, as well as provide Clear Lake Chamber Bucks for city employees, including volunteer firefighters, in response to and recognition of their ongoing efforts for citizens. City Administrator Scott Flory says the money would be redirected from the city’s economic development fund. “That was established through a payback on a loan that the city had gotten for helping a local business, Cole Sewell, at that time it was in the late 1980s. Part of that from the State Department of Economic Development was a grant, part of it was a loan. The loan part was repaid to the city. These were state funds and the city got to capture those and create its own local economic development fund. We have not used those dollars in the last 25 years. North Iowa Corridor president Chad Schreck says there was a very good response to the program. “As of this past Friday, it ended up with 248 pre-applications, 77 of those from Clear Lake addresses, which ended up being over $1.1 million in requests in total, and about over $350,000 in Clear Lake specifically. We started accepting the full applications from those that were eligible off the pre-applications, which so far has been 29 from Clear Lake, 94 in total. So we can see very clearly that a strong need there.” Mayor Nelson Crabb says he has great pride in seeing what our local small businesses are doing in the community during the coronavirus pandemic. “Yes we gave them all, or hopefully have given them all, a little help tonight by passing these four resolutions from our part here in Clear Lake. But it really is a north Iowa event as well, and to help and support each other within that, and I see that in this community. Small businesses helping other small businesses.” The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors earlier this month approved a $100,000 allocation toward the Corridor fund, while the City Council in Mason City tonight will consider giving $300,000 to make the overall government donations to the fund $500,000. MBT Bank also announced at last night’s meeting that they intend to donate an additional $15,000 to that fund. Other private donations to the fund are being accepted.