The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will oversee the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Walz on June 16, 2020.
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.
Applications for the Small Business Relief Grant Program are now open and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2. Please click on the application tab below to apply.
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.)
- See the FAQ tab for more details on eligibility.
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.