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.
Do You Qualify?
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.
- NOTE: 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.)
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-country 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.
A link to the online application form will be open here on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 through 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020.
The application will ask various questions related to your business. There will be no need to attach any documents. Questions will include:
- Who owns the business?
- Where does the owner live?
- Where is the business located?
- How many full-time employees does the business have?
- Is the business registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State? Is your registration active as of March 1, 2020? Visit this page for information.
- Is your business in good standing with the Minnesota Department of Revenue as of March 1, 2020?
- Has your business experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 compared to this time last year?
- Was your business impacted by an Executive Orders related to COVID-19 that limited the ability of your business to operate?
Click here for additional FAQs or contact one of our team members. There are many other funding opportunities also available. Contact our experts to discuss which option is most effective for your business.