DEEDThe Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has opened the application period for the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program. Applications will be accepted between Tuesday, June 23 and 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2.

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.

Priority will be given to businesses closed by executive order, with minimum funding levels for businesses owned by women, veterans, and people of color; businesses with six or fewer employees, and for indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis.

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.