A Total Of $64.2M AvailableBy WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Businesses that suffered hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for the Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grant program.

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that a total of $64,200,000 is available in grants.

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According to DEED, businesses owned and operated in Minnesota that are “majority-owned by military veterans, women, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color individuals; employ 6 people or fewer; and/or did not receive previous assistance from other state relief programs” will be given priority in the selection process.

Businesses with accepted applications will receive a grant between $10,000 and $25,000, depending on the number of full-time employees on staff.

Funding will be halfway down the middle between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota, DEED said.

This is the second time the state issued COVID relief grants to small businesses, and it was so successful, the state wanted to do it again to help the businesses that were left out during the first grant period.

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“Having visited and met with a lot fo the businesses that won grants from the first round last year, this has been transformational money,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. “Folks tell me this money is really what kept them afloat during a really difficult year. It kept their businesses open, allowed them to continue to pay people and just to stay in operation, so when they got through the most difficult hours of the pandemic, they could come back stronger.”

To qualify for the grant, businesses had to have suffered financial loss in two ways: a 10% drop in revenue in 2020 compared to 2019 or the business was specifically restricted from operating under executive orders.

Applications are being accepted until Sept. 29. Then, there will be computer-generated lottery to decide who gets the money from those who applied and qualified.

More information on eligibility for the grant can be found here.

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