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Walz signs small business aid bill into law

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday signed a bipartisan bill that provides $62.5 million in grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

“One of our top priorities during this special legislative session is to build a stronger and more equitable economy, and this direct assistance is an important piece of that plan,” Walz said in a press release. “We will continue working with the Legislature to ensure Minnesota’s economic recovery lifts up our black, brown, indigenous, veteran, female and Greater Minnesota business owners, who have been hit hard by this pandemic.”

Eligible businesses with 50 or fewer employees can apply for grants of up to $10,000. Half of the funding will go to Greater Minnesota businesses, at least $10 million will go to minority-owned businesses, $2.5 million will go to veteran-owned businesses, $2.5 million will go to women-owned businesses and $2.5 million will support cultural malls.

“This funding will support businesses across Minnesota and will be a critical lifeline for underrepresented entrepreneurs, including women, veterans, people of color, and Indigenous folks, to help communities rebuild. I’m grateful to the Legislature for listening to the needs of communities that are historically under-supported,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “Minnesotans value our small businesses and our main streets, especially during this difficult time. Our administration stands with them as they weather this pandemic.”

The bill includes $60 million from the federal CARES Act and $2.5 million from DEED’s Emergency Loan Program. More information, including grant applications, will be available in the coming weeks at https://mn.gov/deed/.

Grants will ultimately be determined by a lottery that will be conducted by a third party.