ST. PAUL - The Otto Bremer Trust has announced the second phase of a $50 million emergency fund supporting organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trust is selecting a network of community development financial institutions and community development corporations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin to distribute funding to nonprofit groups and small businesses, the organization announced Monday, July 6.

The first phase of the program, announced in mid-March, distributed more than $10.5 million in grants and loans to more than 300 organizations.

“The pandemic has clearly had an immense impact on the sector since mid-March, and we took early action to serve as a stabilizing force. OBT’s 75-year history of working with communities to meet ever-changing challenges positioned us to act quickly,” said Daniel Reardon, Co-CEO and trustee of the Otto Bremer Trust.

“While we took action to meet some immediate needs, we are aware that some short-term issues remain, and we will continue to provide emergency funding to address them. We also know that it is time to begin rebuilding our communities by addressing desperate shortages in capital for small businesses and other critical services," Reardon said.

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The Otto Bremer Trust is a bank holding company and a private charitable trust based in Saint Paul. Created in 1944 by Otto Bremer, it is one of the region’s largest philanthropic organizations.

OBT is the majority owner of Bremer Financial Corp., a regional financial services company, and manages a diversified investment portfolio. Since its founding, OBT has invested more than $750 million in the Upper Midwest.