​Dakota County is extending its COVID-19 relief for businesses that have suffered financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic and expanding the eligibility to home-based businesses.

The Dakota County Board has approved using $5 million of the county’s share of federal CARES Act funds to launch a second round of its Small Business Relief Grant program. Home-based businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 or state executive orders related to COVID-19 and meet other criteria can apply for a one-time grant of up to $10,000.

Businesses seeking a grant in this second round must apply between Oct. 26 and Nov. 6. All required documentation must be included at the time of application. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis.

The eligibility requirements are the same as the first round of the grant program with one change — the program is expanded to include home-based businesses. Eligibility criteria for home-based businesses include:

- 50 or fewer employees as of March 1, 2020

- A private for-profit home-based business or sole proprietorship with a physical permanent address in Dakota County

- Owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota

- Be in good standing with the state, Dakota County and city in which the business is located

- Profit generated from the home-based business must be the applicant’s primary source of income

Hobby-based businesses are not eligible for the grant program.

The first round of the Small Business Relief Grant program is providing more than $13 million to businesses that have suffered financially during the pandemic.

To learn more, visit www.dakotacounty.us, search business grant.

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