This week, the Legislature approved and Governor Walz signed a $60.3 million appropriation for grants for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with $31.25 million dedicated to small businesses in Greater Minnesota. Today, DEED announced that the application period will open on June 23 and close at 5:00pm on Thursday, July 2 in accordance with the 10-day application period contained in the bill.

This is a bill that the CGMC and our partner organization, the Greater Minnesota Partnership, worked closely on in the final weeks of the regular session and leading up to the special session, and we were pleased to see that the Legislature was able to pass it in the first hours of the special session last week. These funds are critically important to our communities, our entrepreneurs, and our families, and will help our businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.    

The program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses, those with 50 or fewer full-time employees, that can demonstrate a financial impact from the pandemic. Under the grant requirements:

  • $18 million is for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million is for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million is for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million is for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million is for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

To be eligible, a business must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota.

All applications received by the July 2 deadline that meet the program’s requirements will be entered into a lottery to determine who will be receive a grant. Given the short window for applications, we encourage you to share this information with businesses in your communities and in your networks,  

Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.