The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – approved by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz on June 16 – is taking applications.

According to a press release from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible.

The 10-day application period began on Tuesday, June 23 and closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2. A randomized, computer-generated lottery will be used to select eligible businesses to receive awards. Awards will be administered by qualified local and regional 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 requirements and application information can be found online at DEED's Small Business Relief Grants page.

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation will be administering grants for businesses located in our region. If you have questions or concerns about the application process, the Northwest Small Business Development Center can help. Visit the NWSBDC website to register for free assistance.