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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

State COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grants Program now accepting applications

The 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 5:00 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. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

City of Minneapolis Seeking Disaster Declaration for Areas Impacted by Civil Unrest

The City of Minneapolis, in partnership with Hennepin County and the State of Minnesota, is seeking a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the areas impacted by the recent civil unrest in Minneapolis. A disaster declaration would make low-interest property damage and economic injury loans available through the SBA.

The City needs your help to receive this declaration. We are seeking additional information from businesses owners and property owners who:

  • sustained building damage, e.g. fire damage, or business loss, e.g. damaged inventory, and
  • do not expect losses to be fully covered by insurance (40% or more uninsured loss)

If this describes your situation, please complete this survey no later than Thursday, July 2 to provide data on your losses. Your response is optional and will not impact in any way your eligibility for relief funds should they become available. You will not be more likely or less likely to receive relief funds. Instead you are providing information that will help our community apply for a disaster declaration and if declared, provide access to these loans to all eligible business and property owners in our community.

For questions or assistance completing the survey, contact the Small Business Team at 612-673-2499 or  Assistance in Spanish, Somali, and Hmong available.

For additional information about the City of Minneapolis response to the recent civil unrest, including resources for businesses, visit Minneapolis Forward.

Additional Resources

SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. 

We Love Lake Street Recovery Fund

Applications are open for the Lake Street Council’s We Love Lake Street Recovery Fund. This fund will provider grants of up to $25,000 to businesses and non-profits in the Lake Street area who sustained damage in the recent civil unrest. 

Additional eligibility information and application here.

Events and Training

Webinar: Lease Issues for Small Business

Wednesday, June 24, 9:00 a.m.


Hosted by the SBA, University of Minnesota Law School professors, law students and expert lawyers are coming together to support small businesses in understanding lease issues small businesses are facing in uncertain times. Registration is limited for this free workshop.


SBA Funding Options for COVID-19 Related Economic Disruptions Q&A

Thursday, June 25, 1:30 p.m.


Join the SBA to learn about the Payroll Protection Program, as well as SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance Program, and more.


Hook & Ladder Clinic + Free Legal Assistance

Thursday, June 25 | 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Hook and Ladder Theater and Lounge 3010 Minnehaha Ave 

Hosted by the Longfellow Business Association and Hook and Ladder

On June 25, the Longfellow Business Association LBA is teaming up with the Hook and Ladder Theatre and Lounge to bring local attorneys directly to Longfellow to provide free legal assistance to businesses in the wake of Covid-19 and the recent George Floyd demonstrations. These attorneys are donating their time to help small businesses with issues including business interruption, property damage, insurance concerns, employment law questions, and more. All business owners are welcome to stop in and consult with an attorney for free. Get the full details and links to additional pro-bono legal services here

East African Information and Listening Session for Businesses Impacted by the Civil Unrest

Thursday, June 25, 2020 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Jigiiga Business Center - 1516 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis 55407

The African Immigrant Service Center, Minnesota Somali Chamber of Commerce and Milestone Community Development will host an information session for business owners who suffered damages in the civil unrest following George Floyd’s murder.

More information in English and Somali

City of Minneapolis logo

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-263-6850.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.