DECC, Local Theaters Land Thousands in State COVID Relief Grants

It's part of more than $13 million in COVID relief grants, being spread out to convention centers and movie theaters across the state.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center — hit hard by the pandemic — has finally landed some relief from the state in the amount of $500,000.

The grant is coming from the Minnesota Department Of Employment And Economic Development (DEED).

It’s part of more than $13 million in COVID relief grants from DEED, being spread out to convention centers and movie theaters across the state.

Interim director Roger Reinert tells us the $500,000 grant will help with utilities and act as a cushion moving forward. “Everything else we’ve done to try and stabilize and try to solve the pandemic has been completely internal,” Reinert said.

The DECC, however, being a public, city-operated venue did not qualify for any previous cares act or paycheck protection program funding.

Lack of public events last year drained the DECC of roughly $5.6 million.

“So yeah, $500,000 may be small compared to $5.6 million — but it’s huge compared to zero,” said Reinert.

“It not only is helpful financially but frankly it’s a huge morale boost for all of us who have been struggling to keep the DECC moving forward during the pandemic,” he said.

As for theaters, eight Northland locations landed grant money including $120,000 to Marcus Duluth Cinema, $30,000 to Zeitgeist’s Zinema 2, in Duluth, and $15,000 to the West Theater in West Duluth.

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