MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – On the first day of the special session, the Minnesota House of Representatives has approved millions of dollars in grants for small businesses.

These grants, which collectively come to $62.5 million, are designed for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation was part of a bipartisan and bicameral package.

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“As we begin the process of slowly and safely reopening businesses, it’s important that assistance is provided to the smallest of the small that were affected by the ongoing pandemic,” said Rep. Mahoney of St. Paul.

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The CARES Act supplied the vast majority of the bill: $60 million. The other $2.5 million comes from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Emergency Loan program.

To qualify for the bill, businesses must be owned by a resident of Minnesota and have a permanent physical location in the state. They must also demonstrate the financial hardship they’ve experienced, and must have been required to operate at 50% or less capacity as of May 18.

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Small businesses may receive grants up to $10,000 each.