MN Small Business Relief Grants Program: What You Need To Know

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On Tuesday, June 23 through Thursday, July 2, Minnesota will be accepting applications for $10,000 grants under the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program.  This program makes $62.5M available to Minnesotan-owned and operated small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees that demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The bill, which had bipartisan support, will provide grants of $10,000 to businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Half of the funding will go toward businesses in Greater Minnesota, and at least $10 million will go toward minority-owned businesses.

Funding will be split 50/50 between Greater MN and the 7-county metro, with $18M for businesses with six or fewer FTEs, 10M for minority-owned businesses, $2.5M for veteran-owned businesses, $2.5 million for women-owned businesses, and $2.5M for cultural malls. Applications must be made online at the DEED website, which also provides FAQs.

Most of the money for the bill will come from the federal CARES Act, which was passed in March. An additional $2.5 million will come from the Department of Employment and Economic Development's emergency loan program.

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Here are some details. All of this and other information can be found on the DEED website:

 

Eligibility

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.

To qualify, an applicant must NOT:

  • Have received funds under Small Business Emergency Loan (SBEL) program.
  • Be a home-based business (except for child-care providers).

FAQs

When and how do I apply?

Applications are now open and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2. Application to apply.

Can I send in a paper or email application?

No. Due to the large volume of applications, we can only accept applications submitted through the online form.

Who is selecting the winners? How will selections be made?

Per the authorizing legislation, grants will be awarded through a lottery (i.e., a randomized selection process). This process will be conducted by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in consultation with the Minnesota Lottery or with assistance from the Minnesota Lottery and will be observed by an independent third party. The methods, procedures and certification of fairness of the selection process will be posted publicly on this website.

Businesses that are majority-owned by military veterans, women, and ethnic or racial minorities; employ 6 people or fewer; and/or were significantly impacted by Executive Orders (i.e. with their operations restricted to 50% or less of normal capacity) on May 18, will receive priority considerations in the selection process.

Are nonprofit organizations eligible for this program?

No. Only private for-profit businesses are eligible for this program.

I am a resident of another state, but my business has a permanent physical location in Minnesota. Is my business eligible for this program?

No. The majority ownership of a business must be owned by one or more permanent residents of Minnesota.

My business leases space within the permanent physical location of another business (for example, a chair in a barbershop or a store within a mall, etc.). Is this considered a permanent physical location?

Yes.

I am a resident of another state, but my business has a permanent physical location in Minnesota. Is my business eligible for this program?

No. The majority ownership of a business must be owned by one or more permanent residents of Minnesota.

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Go to the DEED website for more answers to FAQs and to find the application.

DEED will also be hosting webinars on how to apply:

June 25 - 7:00 - 8:00 p.m
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.

We are here for you Minnesota and will continue to provide any new information we have to help you and your small business during this time. 

 

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