The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will begin accepting applications for the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program Tuesday until 5 p.m. on July 2.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Half of the funding will go to businesses in greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

“Through no fault of their own, thousands of small businesses throughout the state lost their livelihood due to the effects of COVID-19 and are on the verge of closing permanently,” said Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook. “These grants are a critical lifeline that can help small businesses as we begin to reopen. I encourage anyone eligible to apply as soon as possible beginning Tuesday, and my office stands ready to help in any way possible.”

“Small businesses across our state have had to make incredible sacrifices as a result of this pandemic, and we realize much of the aid made available from the federal government has been out of reach of the smallest businesses who need it the most,” said Rep. Rob Ecklund, DFL – International Falls. “I’m proud Minnesota lawmakers could come together to deliver this assistance. I hope impacted businesses apply for it quickly, and that our state will continue to be resilient in the face of incredibly challenging circumstances.”

A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

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