December 31, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Fewer than 20% of nearly 6,000 applicants have received money via a $450 million grant program to help South Dakota small businesses upended by the pandemic.

The federal government has extended the deadline from Wednesday, but some business owners expressed frustration at snags in the application process and a monthslong wait for the grants.

The program is a cornerstone of Gov. Kristi Noem’s plan to spend $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds, sending nearly a third of it to small businesses, startups and nonprofits that were hurt by the pandemic.