MN COVID Relief Grants Open Sept 20

Application Portal for the Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants will be open September 20-29, 2021.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will oversee the Main Street Covid Relief Grants Program approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Walz on June 30, 2021.

This program will make available $10,000 – $25,000 grants to Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A total $64,200,000 is available. Prioritized in the selection process are applicants 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 program.

Applicants will receive a grant amount based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTEs) employees on staff.

  • $10,000 – 6 FTEs or less.
  • $15,000 – Between 7 and 49 FTEs
  • $20,000 – Between 50 and 99 FTEs
  • $25,000 – Between 100 and 200 FTEs

Applications will be reviewed and awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 12, 2020, in the regular course of business. These are grants and no repayment will be required.


To qualify, an applicant must:

  • Be private for-profit business or non-profit organization (that earns revenue in ways similar to a business) with primary operations located in the state of Minnesota.
  • Be at least 50% owned by one or more resident(s) of Minnesota.
  • Employee the equivalent of 200 full-time workers or less.
  • Be able to demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Minimum total sales or revenue of at least $10,000 for the 2020 or 2019 tax year.

In making awards, there are minimum set asides for various targeted groups and categories of businesses.

  • 50% of funds will be available for businesses based in Greater Minnesota.
  • 50% of funds will be available for businesses based in the 7-county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties).
  • A minimum amount of funds must be awarded as follows:
    • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time workers.
    • $10 million for businesses that are majority owned and operated by Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).
    • $2.5 million for businesses that are majority owned and operated by veterans.
    • $2.5 million for businesses that are majority owned and operated by women.


The application portal will open by 10:00 a.m. on September 20, 2021.

NOTE: You will need an email account and a unique email address to use the application portal, submit an application, and receive updates on the status of your application. The same email address cannot be used to submit multiple applications for separate businesses.

If you own multiple businesses you can only submit one application for one of the businesses. A single business with multiple locations is considered one businesses.

The application will ask various questions related to your businesses. In addition you will be asked to attach electronic copies of documents to the application. Failure to provide required documents will result in the Department’s inability to determine your eligibility for assistance.

Questions include:

  • Who owns the business?
  • Where does the owner live?
  • Where is the businesses primary operations?
  • How many full-time employees does the business have?
  • Has your business experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 compared to this time last year?
  • Has your business received financial assistance from other state programs such as Small Business Relief Grants , Small Business Emergency Loans, Movie Theater and Convention Center Grants?

Required documents may include:

  • 2019 – 2021 business tax documents including state and federal tax returns.
  • Financial statements.
  • Proof of residence such as drivers license or government issued ID


  1. If you have questions, please review the DEED website and FAQs tab as a first step. Check the FAQ regularly for updates.
  2. Email the Northland Foundation at
  3. If you would like more in-depth help preparing to apply, put in a request for services with the Northland Small Business Development Center as soon as possible. A Northeast Minnesota SBDC consultant will contact you.
  4. Email DEED at

Information Session

Northland SBDC Information Session with Q&A

The Northland Small Business Development Center, serving Northeast Minnesota, is presenting a Main Street COVID Relief Grants workshop, including time for Q&A. Please REGISTER IN ADVANCE to participate. Wednesday, September 15th 1:30-2:30 p.m.