HERG - Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant




Application period closes, December 4th, 2020 - 5:00 p.m. CST

The Legislative Emergency Commission and the Legislative Budget Committee has approved the Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant (HERG).  This funding will go to businesses within the hospitality industry and be REIMBURSED based on RECEIPTS for operational costs.   

This includes restaurants, bars, breweries, cafes and similar on-site dining establishments.  Additionally, the HERG will also focus on businesses affected by the closures such as theaters, music and entertainment venues, and professional production companies that support major venue meetings and events.  

You may only fill out ONE application and will be eligible for up to $25,000 for one eligible location, up to $50,000 for two eligible locations, and up to $75,000 for three or more eligible locations. If you receive a grant for more than one location, you cannot spend more than $25,000 per location. An eligible location must meet business eligibility requirements as listed at https://belegendary.link/HERG and is defined by a customer facing marketplace. List all locations in which your ownership is 50% or greater, regardless of whether business has a separate EIN. Applicant must list each business under this guideline and will be awarded according to the $25,000, $50,000 and $75,000 maximum rule.

Grantees will be chosen on a first come, first served basis among all recipients who have self-certified that they are complying with the current North Dakota Smart Restart protocols. Noncompliance with these protocols will result in the repayment of all grants funds. 

HERG funds will be used to reimburse eligible entities for costs in operations, such as payroll, rent, utilities and other expenses that comply with federal guidelines.  Payroll taxes and other taxes are not eligible for reimbursement.   

Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant (HERG) Fact Sheet





Hospitality ERG (HERG), which will focus on businesses in the hospitality sector that were closed on March 13, 2020, as a result of Executive Order 2020-06, including restaurants, bars, breweries, cafes and similar on-site dining establishments.

Many of these businesses continue to suffer from the continued impact of the 2019-nCov/COVID-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. While these businesses face dramatic declines in revenue, they continue to be pillars in both rural and urban communities across North Dakota.

Eligible entities will also include theaters, drama, music and entertainment venues, as well as professional production companies who support major venues, meetings and events. HERG will help businesses survive in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hotels with restaurants, bars, coffee shops and or banquets/meeting space may apply for a grant using the operational expenses from those specific operations.  The receipts must clearly show this connection, for example food costs or staffing.  Limited service hotels, without dedicated group space or a restaurant, unfortunately are not eligible for the grants.  Complimentary breakfasts would not qualify as a restaurant.  

Eligible expenses must have been incurred on or after March 27, 2020, and no later than date of application.

Please note, there is NO APPEALS process for the ERG/HERG grant program. Providing all documentation requested and appropriate justification for each expense item will ensure your best chance for success with the grant program.  

Who's Eligible

The grantee must be:

  • A restaurant (food trucks included) - to include food services and drinking establishment that derive a minimum of 51% of their sales from prepared food/drink and must certify that 75% sales were derived in ND, as well as a current food establishment license.
  • A bar or lounge with a current on-sale liquor license issued by the appropriate legal entity that derive a minimum of 51% from on-sale sales.
  • An entertainment venue to include movie, drama or music theaters and facilities used to host community and private events; and that derive a minimum of 51% of your revenue from either rental or admissions.
  • A production company that provides technology and audio-visual services to meetings and events; and must certify that 75% sales were derived in ND.

Applicants must self-certify that they meet the requirements and will comply with current North Dakota Smart Restart protocols. Noncompliance with these protocols will result in the repayment of all grants funds.

Who's Not Eligible
  • Government owned facilities that do not generate more than 51% of its revenue from private events
  • Food establishments without appropriate licensure
  • Retail food, groceries or gas stations who do not derive a minimum of 51% of their sales from prepared food
  • Religious Organizations
  • Lodging facilities (that do not have event space or restaurants)

Eligible and Ineligible Expenses


The Hospitality ERG (HERG) will be used to reimburse these entities for costs in operations, like payroll, rent, utilities, and other expenses that comply with CARES Act federal and/or CDC guidelines that have resulted due to the closures and lack of consumer confidence to return to the marketplace.

Payroll and Benefits

Cost of retaining employees during eligibility period

Eligible Expenses:

  • Wages and salaries
  • Health Benefits or Insurance Plans
  • COVID safety training
  • Work Comp

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Payroll taxes
  • Bonuses
  • Tips
  • FICA
  • FUTA
  • SUTA
  • Pay off PPP, BND, NDDF, EIDL or any loan documents other than mortgage
Rent, Mortgage, Operating Expenses and Utilities

Overhead expenses

Eligible Expenses:

  • Rent
  • Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Business Insurance
  • Marketing
  • Equipment to prepare food or drink; e.g. ovens, dishwashers, etc.
  • Repairs

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Pay off PPP, BND, NDDF, EIDL or any loan documents other than mortgage
  • Depreciation of materials
  • Food or Alcohol
  • Taxes on purchases
  • Business expansions or new construction
  • No vehicles
  • Items for resale
Marketing and Signage

Eligible Expenses:

  • One-time production of directional signs for use in a customer facing area of the business
  • Printed menus if replacing reusable menus in order to limit repetitive touch
  • Marketing Materials
  • Advertisements

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Items approved and purchased in ERG Round 1
  • Taxes on purchases
Other Expenses

Personal Protective Equipment - Items used to clean, disinfect, and sanitize surfaces and other elements within a business

Eligible Expenses:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper towels (if used for cleaning)
  • Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfectant sprays
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Rags and towels (if used for cleaning)

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Items approved and purchased in ERG Round 1
  • Supplies and equipment deemed to be ineffective at disinfecting or sanitizing per CDC, EPA or DOH guidance
  • Taxes on purchases


Touchless Equipment - Equipment intended to reduce repetitive touch of surfaces in high traffic areas, as a means of reducing potential spread of COVID-19

Eligible Expenses:

  • Touchless payment systems
  • One-time software purchases is required to use a touchless payment system
  • Automatic doors in high traffic, customer-facing locations
  • Touchless hand soap, paper towel and hand sanitizer dispensers
  • Touchless faucets
  • Touchless water fountains and bottle fillers
  • Improved sinks, dishwashers, washers, dryers, etc. to reduce spread of infection

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Items approved and purchased in ERG Round 1
  • Technology upgrades that expand the business model or provide for e-commerce
  • Taxes on purchases

Environmental Hygiene - Prevention and control measures used to protect people from exposure to, and infection with COVID-19

Eligible Expenses:

  • Anti-microbial coatings
  • Air purification systems
  • HVAC Systems (if additional criteria are met)
  • UV light purifiers

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Items approved and purchased in ERG Round 1
  • Fans
  • HVAC systems that do not filter or purify air
  • HVAC systems that do not vent to the outside or introduce fresh air into the space
  • Any measures deemed ineffective at preventing transmission of COVID-19 by the CDC, EPA or DOH
  • Taxes on purchases



Applicants are responsible for providing sufficient documentation for all costs, justification for why these items are eligible, and proof of payment.

  • Documents must be clear, legible, and high-resolution, e.g. Word, Excel, PDF, QuickBooks, Accounting Software, etc.
    • Documents not not generated by a 3rd party, must include proof of payment, e.g. quarterly tax reports, copy of banking statements, credit card statements, print off from accountant certifying accuracy, etc.
  • Handwritten documents are not allowed
  • Show a detailed description of each expense




  • Clearly identify why and when the costs were incurred.
  • Applicant responsible for indicating which cost category an expense falls into
  • Receipt showing proof of payment
    • Must be Itemized to show all expenses
    • Include a total dollar amount
    • Date of purchase
    • Vendor name and contact information
    • Must tie back to the applicant and the business location (customer name, address, etc.)
    • Payment method noted on receipts
    • Taxes must be itemized (ineligible for reimbursement) 


  • Receipts: Legitimate receipts must include itemization (item description and/or picture), total purchase price, date, verification of payment in full, evidence it came from the vendor (letterhead, etc.)
    • Eligible (standalone) Receipts:
      • Itemized vendor receipt that shows proof of payment
      • Invoices if showed paid-in-full with $0 balance due
      • Screen shots showing the required information above (not just the shopping cart screenshot)
      • Receipts for the items from the distributor/supplier which refer back to the invoice or estimate provided
    •  Eligible (if accompanied by proof of payment: cancelled check, credit card statement/receipt, bank draft, etc.)
      • Invoice, quote, estimate, bid, purchase order, etc. (not showing a zero-balance due).
      • Hand-written/editable receipts
    • Ineligible:
      • Receipts showing applicant as the vendor
    • If ANY of the required information above is missing, or if the receipt is in any way editable, the applicant must provide additional transaction information such as cancelled checks, credit card statements, bank drafts, emails, etc. which provide the missing information.



  • Note: taxes are not an eligible expense, but shipping is.
  • All expenses provided must be clearly tied to the physical business location
  • If multiple items are on a receipt, clearly highlight or mark which items are being claimed for reimbursement
  • If using supplies from existing stock, 3rd party documentation must be provided to show the initial purchase of those items from the wholesale vendor as well as location
  • Limit one expenditure per line item, with corresponding documentation.
  • If you have listed multiple locations in your application, please note in the description of your line item which location this expense is for.

For questions on the Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant (HERG) Program, contact our business help line at businesshelpCOVID19@nd.gov.


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