More than $64M available in grants for businesses that experienced hardship due to COVID-19

Published 5:51 pm Friday, September 3, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin accepting applications for the Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program on Sept. 20. 

A total of $64.2 million is available in grants for Minnesotan-owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.

Businesses that are majority-owned by military veterans, women, and Black, Indigenous and people of color individuals; employ six people or fewer; and/or did not receive previous assistance from other state relief programs will be prioritized in the selection process. Funding will be distributed in a 50/50 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 (FTEs) employees on staff. To be eligible, businesses must operate in Minnesota and be majority owned by a resident of Minnesota. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found at DEED’s Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program page.

Previous relief programs include the Small Business Emergency Loan program, the Small Business Relief Grant Program, the Movie Theater and Convention Center Relief Grant program, and the County Relief Grant program.

Informational sessions will be at 11 a.m. Sept. 14 and 10 a.m. Sept. 20.

Applications will be reviewed and awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 12, 2020, in the regular course of business.

The application portal will accept applications for 10 days after opening. Applications will close at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 29. Afterward, grant applications will be selected for consideration through a computer-generated, randomized selection process.