The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program last week. The program, which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz, will begin accepting applications on June 23 through 5:00 p.m. on July 2.

The program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant funds can be used for business expenses including working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, and utility bills. Below we have outlined eligibility and distribution requirements for the grant.

Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for the grant, businesses must have:

• 50 or fewer full-time employees,

• a permanent physical location in Minnesota and majority-owned by a permeant resident of Minnesota, and

• demonstrated financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

• A full list of requirements and application information can be found online here.

Distribution Requirements
A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be leveraged to select eligible businesses for the $60+ million available in grants. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. Grants will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies. Certain businesses will have precedence based on size or demographics, including:

• $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees

• $10 million for minority business enterprises

• $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses

• $2.5 million for women-owned businesses

• $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic-cultural emphasis

If your business plans to apply, visit the official DEED webpage for the online grant application link on June 23. If you need assistance determining eligibility or applying, please contact us today.