I think it's safe to say that many of us have no idea just how expensive this COVID-19 year has been for so many businesses in town. Modifications and making sure you are up to speed with all the social distance codes, taking measures to help keep people safe inside and outside your work area. Bruno's Pizza in Bismarck for one found out just how much it costs when you are upgrading for the virus. KFYR reported that "The Department of Commerce has distributed $12 million to businesses across the state to help pay for those modifications via the Economic Resiliency Grant. But it doesn’t always cover the whole cost. The state received $66 million through the CARES Act for this grant and by the Aug. 28 deadline, the Department of Commerce had received almost $100 million worth of grant requests".

That's a little bit off, isn't it? Obviously not everyone will be able to benefit from the full aid they need. When Bruno's owner Brandon Ralph applied for the Economic Resiliency Grant, he only asked for the amount he needed, which fortunately for him and the restaurant, the money proved to be enough - which hasn't always been the case for other businesses. As a matter of fact, Commerce has reported that some workplaces out there have applied more than once, and that is a no-no. North Dakota Department of Commerce Economic Development and Finance Director James Leiman refers to that as "Double Dip".

The smart way to go about staying in business and surviving the times is what Brandon has done at Bruno's. For more on this story click here.