small business grants

Governor Tim Walz announced Tuesday that The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is now accepting applications for its Small Business Relief Grants Program which was approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed by Walz on June 16, 2020.

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2. Click here to apply.

This program will make available $10,000 grants to Minnesotan-owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A total of $60.3 million is available for grant awards which will be selected through a computer-generated, randomized selection process.

Awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 1, 2020, in the regular course of business. These are grants and no repayment will be required.

To qualify, an applicant must:

  • Be a private for-profit business that has a permanent physical location in Minnesota.
  • Be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota.
  • Be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State and the Minnesota Department of Revenue as of March 1, 2020.
  • Employ the equivalent of 50 or fewer full-time workers.
  • Be able to demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Home-based businesses - except for licensed child care providers - are not eligible. Businesses that received funding under the Small Business Emergency Loan Program (SBEL) are not eligible for this program. However, businesses that received funding through the various Small Business Administration emergency loan programs are still eligible for this program. Additional details on eligibility can be found here.

In making awards, there are minimum set asides for various targeted groups and categories of businesses.

50% of funds will be available for businesses based in Greater Minnesota.

50% of funds will be available for businesses based in the 7-county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties).

A minimum amount of funds must be awarded as follows:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time workers.
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises.
  • $2.5 million for businesses that are majority owned and operated by veterans.
  • $2.5 million for businesses that are majority owned and operated by women.
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis.

DEED will host webinars with information about the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants. Click here to register for an event.

Once registered, a reminder email will be sent in the morning with event information. Instructions on how to attended a teams live event can be found here.

Information session dates:

June 26 - 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

June 27 - 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

June 28 - 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

June 29 - 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

June 30 - 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

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