More Than 27,400 Businesses Applied for Small Business Relief Grant Program
Initial lottery drawing completed; DEED expects full list of grantees to be available by late August
July 20, 2020
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced today that it has completed the lottery drawing for the winners of the Small Business Relief Grant Program. The program will award $10,000 grants to small businesses that have suffered financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was passed with bipartisan support in the Minnesota Legislature during the 2020 1st Special Session and signed into law by Governor Tim Walz.
“Small businesses across our state have faced immense hardships due to COVID-19,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “This has been a truly coordinated effort across state government and our nonprofit partners to quickly get these dollars out to businesses in need and help our communities, and we’re pleased to say that the support is coming soon.”
More than 27,400 individual businesses applied for grant funding, including:
• 9,740 women-owned businesses (35% of all applicants)
• 5,535 minority-owned businesses (20% of all applicants)
• 1,340 veteran-owned businesses (5% of all applicants)
• 19,197 businesses with 6 or fewer employees (70% of all applicants)
As required by the authorizing legislation, winners were selected by a randomized selection process. This process was conducted in consultation with the Minnesota Lottery to ensure accuracy, and the lottery drawing was observed by staff from the Minnesota Lottery and Minnesota Management & Budget.
DEED has provided initial lists of grantees to the qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations, which will now evaluate and conduct eligibility verifications for the grantees. The grants can be used by eligible grantees for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 1, 2020, in the regular course of business. Businesses will be contacted directly by the nonprofit charged with administering their grant.
DEED anticipates being able to provide a complete list of the Small Business Relief Grant Program grantees by late August.
An additional component of the authorizing legislation was the Cultural Mall Operator Grant Program, which will award grants up to $250,000 to Minnesota-based operators of privately owned, permanent indoor retail space and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis. DEED will provide additional information about these recipients in late July.