County board actions

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county board actions


Contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

On Tuesday, the board approved several items in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Small business and housing relief

The unprecedented environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant business closings, income loss, and unemployment within Hennepin County.

In response, the county board has approved the following actions.

Hennepin County Small Business Relief Program

The board approved $2 million of emergency loan funding to help local businesses recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. The county will partner with Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers to assist approximately 265 businesses.

Learn more about small business relief.

Small business outreach

The board approved an agreement with the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability to provide small business outreach in partnership with culturally specific, community-based organizations. 

Emergency housing assistance 

The board approved $740,000 to fund emergency housing assistance for renters and homeowners. The county will add up to $1.5 million more for rental assistance from federal CARES Act funding in the coming days.

County partners with local shelters to stand up more hotels for people experiencing homelessness

The board approved a plan to work with Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army to move people experiencing homelessness who are at high-risk of COVID-19 out of two shelters and into a new hotel to allow them to safely self-isolate.

Approximately 200 people, including seniors and people with underlying health conditions, will move out of Higher Ground and Harbor Light Center into a hotel leased by Hennepin County. Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army will jointly operate and staff the facility.

The county is also working with People Serving People and partners to explore leasing an additional 50-bed hotel for families staying in shelter that have symptoms of COVID-19 in a similar arrangement.

The county is already operating three additional hotel sites for high-risk people who cannot self-isolate, including one for people with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are currently 272 residents staying in these hotels.

Hennepin County first acted to establish alternative accommodations for high-risk residents at area hotels on Tuesday, March 17.

To date, Hennepin County has spent more than $2 million on isolation housing for vulnerable residents.

Abatement of property tax penalty for certain taxpayers 

The board approved a measure to automatically waive penalties for property tax payments due on May 15 but made on or before July 15. 

This applies to taxpayers who: 

  • Have a total property tax payment of less than $50,000 for all parcels 
  • Do not escrow their property tax payments through a mortgage or escrow service 

Budgeting for COVID-19 response

Commissioners authorized up to $4 million of additional funding for COVID-19 response.

The board had previously authorized $8.5 million for protective housing, isolation and quarantine sites, personal protective equipment and staffing to respond to COVID-19.

This brings authorized spending related to COVID-19 to $12.5 million.

To date, the county has spent $6.7 million on COVID-related expenses.

Current and archival board meetings, agendas and minutes are available at

Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at

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