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Summer 2012



Business Flood Recovery Fund assists in the wake of disaster

moose lake flood

The Lakeside Traders sign is reflected

in flood waters.

When Dave Lund stepped into Lakeside Traders the morning of June 21st, he was greeted not by customers but by 18 inches of dirty water. Sections of carpet were afloat along with the inventory. Knick-knacks began drifting out the door with the receding waters. The epic rainfall of June 20th left Lund’s Moose Lake antiques and gift shop, like hundreds of other businesses and families, faced with a staggering mess.

“June is our biggest month to receive inventory, so this happened at a tough time.” —Dave LundLund and his wife, Janis, got right to work. With several friends pitching in on clean-up duty, they pulled out carpeting, fixtures, computers, and inventory that were beyond help. The crew also removed items such as greeting cards that survived the initial soaking but were subject to post-flood damage due to high humidity in the building.

The Northland Foundation responded to the disaster first with a $15,000 grant to the American Red Cross for emergency relief.  Within days Northland also established a Business Flood Recovery Fund. This fund offers quick-turnaround grants of up to $5,000 to flood-impacted small businesses, many of which could not begin to cover the initial costs of clean-up, repair, and replacement out-of-pocket.

flood picture

Work to reopen began the moment

the water was out.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of the regional economy, and every day they’re out of commission takes a toll not only on the owners but also their employees and community,” stated Tom Renier, President of the Northland Foundation. “Full recovery takes time, of course. Our goal with the fund was to just help businesses get operational and generating revenues again as soon as possible.”

Other foundations and businesses have stepped up generously. To date, $381,000 in contributions has been raised with checks still coming in. Already 26 grants totaling $102,986 are out the door. The grantees have estimated their total damages are nearly $645,000.

“We are seeing many home-based as well as retail businesses in need of assistance. Many have already taken steps to get their operations up and running again but are struggling to find the resources to fully recover. The needs in Carlton County are particularly high,” said Northland Foundation’s Grant Program Director, Erik Torch.

The Business Flood Recovery Fund still has tens of thousands of dollars available for grant-making to affected businesses in the region. If you or someone you know may qualify, contact the Northland Foundation or access the application.

In the near term, Lakeside Traders has been able to cover formerly carpeted floors with a coat of epoxy, purchase new computers, and start rebuilding the business. Although a great deal remains to be sorted out, Lund began reopening his 5,000 square foot retail space, section-by-section, two weeks after the fateful flood.

“The fact that we were reopening by July 5th and could recover much of the summer season is going to help Lakeside Traders and our 50-some vendors get back on our feet. We’re thankful that the Northland Foundation came through for us when they did,” said Lund.


The following organizations have generously contributed to the Business Flood Recovery Fund:

AgStar Financial ServicesBarr Engineering

Blandin Foundation • Granite Equity Partners, LLC

Great River Energy • maurices, inc.

Minnesota Power Foundation • Northland Foundation

Northwest Area Foundation • Otto Bremer Foundation

The McKnight Foundation