Small Business Relief Grants

Application Closed July 2 at 5 p.m.

This 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. Half of the $60 million funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area.

Provisions in the legislation identify specific funding be allocated to business that meet certain criteria, including:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees.
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises.
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses.
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses.
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis.

About the Application Process

The application opened Tuesday, June 23, and closed Thursday, July 2, at 5:00 p.m.

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.

Other important notes about eligibility 

  • Priority will be to businesses that were restricted from operating by executive order on May 18, 2020, such that the business could not operate at least at 51% of normal capacity. 

  • Nonprofits are not eligible. 

  • Home-based businesses are not eligible, unless it is an in-home licensed child-care provider. 

  • If you received a Small Business Emergency Loan (SBEL), you are not eligible for this program.

  • If you received a Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) Loan, you are eligible for this program.


If you need help applying for a grant, contact the West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center at 218-299-3037 or 

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