The League supports the legislation, as many cities are seeking ways to restore the local economy during the pandemic.
The Legislature passed a bill during last week’s special session that authorizes $60 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund for Small Business Relief Grants.
The bill, HF 5, splits the grants evenly between businesses in the metro area and those in Greater Minnesota. It was signed into law as First Special Session Chapter 1 on June 16.
The proposal was supported by the League, as many cities are seeking to assist their local businesses and restore the local economy, which has been severely hurt by the pandemic.
Grant eligibility and use
Eligible businesses with a permanent physical location in Minnesota that employ up to 50 workers can apply for grants up to $10,000. The grants will be distributed with a preference for businesses unable to operate at 51% capacity as of May 18, 2020, which includes bars, restaurants, gyms, and places of public gathering.
The grants can 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 1 in the regular course of business.
Grant application period and selection
According to guidance from the Department of Employment and Economic Development, grant applications will be accepted from June 23 to July 2 at 5 p.m.
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.
For more background information about this bill, read a previous article.