The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, also known as DEED, is accepting applications for the Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grant program. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29.

A total of $64.2 million is available in grants for Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The selection process will prioritize businesses that are majority-owned by military veterans, women and individuals who are Black, Indigenous and people of color; businesses that employ six people or fewer; and businesses that did not receive previous assistance from other state relief programs. Funding will be distributed in a 50/50 split between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota.

Applicants that qualify and are selected will receive a grant between $10,000 and $25,000 based on the number of full-time equivalent employees on staff. To be eligible, businesses must operate in Minnesota and be majority owned by a resident of Minnesota. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found at DEED’s Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program page, at tinyurl.com/3zt6fvpb.

DEED hosted an informational webinar Sept. 14, to go over the application process and answer questions from small business owners. You can watch a recording of that webinar on DEED’s YouTube channel, at tinyurl.com/t9da6h69.

Anyone with questions can email mscrg.deed@state.mn.us. Translated program information is available on the DEED website in Hmong, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Applications will be reviewed and awards will be disbursed and administered by local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses must 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.

Applications will close at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29. Then applications will be chosen for consideration through a computer-generated, randomized selection process, according to DEED.

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