October 23, 2021

$64 million available to Minnesota small businesses hit by COVID-19

About $64 million in aid is available to some businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic through the Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grant program. Applications will close on September 29

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is administering the program. Applicants will receive a grant amount based on the number of full-time equivalent employees on staff.

Businesses that are majority-owned by military veterans, women, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color individuals; and did not receive previous assistance from other state relief programs will be prioritized in the selection process. Funding will be split between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota.

Applicants that qualify and are selected will receive a grant amount between $10,000 and $25,000 based on the number of full-time equivalent employees on staff. Eligible businesses must operate in Minnesota and be majority-owned by a resident of Minnesota. Additional eligibility requirements and information are here.

  • $10,000 – 6 full-time equivalent (FTE) or less.
  • $15,000 – Between seven and 49 FTEs
  • $20,000 – Between 50 and 99 FTEs
  • $25,000 – Between 100 and 200 FTEs

DEED hosted an informational webinar on September 14 to review the application process and answer questions.

Local nonprofit organizations will review applications and disburse awards. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar costs that have occurred since March 12, 2020, in the regular course of business. These are grants, so businesses won’t have to repay them if they spend within the above parameters.

Applications will close on September 29 at 11:59 p.m. Afterward, grant applications will be selected through a computer-generated, randomized selection process.

Lawmakers and Gov. Tim Walz approved the Main Street relief provision earlier this year.

This article was originally posted on $64 million available to Minnesota small businesses hit by COVID-19