Today the Minnesota Senate passed legislation to appropriate $60 million for small businesses in crisis from the stay at home orders and coronavirus pandemic. The bill was passed with bipartisan support. The bill takes $57.6 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and $2.4 million from the Small Business Guarantee Loan program to provide relief grants to Minnesota small businesses.
“COVID-19 has had a crushing economic impact across Minnesota that has hurt all our communities, small business, and workers and left many in a dire state,” said Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake). “As we try to open Minnesota up and reboot our state’s economy, these grants will support our small businesses and help them get through these troubling times.”
A business is eligible if it has a brick and mortar location in Minnesota, is owned by a permanent resident, employs 50 or fewer full-time staff, and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Once approved, eligible businesses may receive grants of up to $10,000 to use for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.
The bill designates $30 million to be distributed to businesses in Greater Minnesota and $30 million for distribution in the seven-county metropolitan area. At least $18 million of the funds would be designated for microbusinesses of 6 or fewer employees. A minimum of $15 million must be awarded to minority-owned, veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses.