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Small Business Relief Fund

Small Business Relief Fund

Local funding opportunities to support businesses impacted by COVID-19

Hennepin County Small Business Relief Funding

Hennepin County has committed over $30 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide direct financial support to small businesses in the form of grants.  Three application rounds for emergency small business relief grants have been offered:

  • Round 1 April 27-May 8: Grants up to $10,000 for businesses with 1-20 employees
  • Round 2 May 19-29: Grants up to $5,000 for self-employed entrepreneurs
  • Round 3 July 30-August 12: Grants up to $15,000 for businesses with 1-50 employees

At this time, there is sufficient funding for all eligible small businesses that previously submitted an application. Thousands of applications have been received, and the review process is ongoing. Grants that have been approved are being disbursed to applicants daily. Information on the funds provided to small businesses to-date is available here.


No future application rounds are expected.


Waitlist for Small Business Relief Funding

Hennepin County is opening an online submission form for businesses who would like to be placed on a waitlist to access program funds if they become available.

Online submission forms for waitlist consideration for Hennepin County Small Business Relief funds will be available beginning at noon on Friday, October 30 through Friday, November 6 at noon.

Businesses that have already received funding through Hennepin County’s Small Business Relief (SBR) or Self- Employed Entrepreneur (SEE) funds may be eligible to receive an additional grant up to $5,000 or $2,500 respectively, if selected from the waitlist.

NOTE:  A number of recipients of Hennepin County’s Small Business Relief (SBR) or Self- Employed Entrepreneur (SEE) funds received direct email correspondence from Housing and Economic Development staff on October 26 about required grant reporting and access to the waitlist through a separate online form.  Recipients of that email must refer to that email for online form instructions.


Waitlist Eligibility

To be placed on the waitlist, the business must provide documentation of the following:

  • A permanent physical establishment in Hennepin County. NOTE: only home-based businesses who have employees in addition to the owner(s) may submit for waitlist consideration
  • Registration in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State
  • Employment of no more than 50 employees as of March 2020
  • Current payment of property taxes
  • W-9 Form
  • Eligible expenses that have not or will not be reimbursed with another source of city, state, or federal funds (NOTE: payroll costs and property taxes are not eligible expenses)
  • Business interruption due to COVID-19, defined as either or both of the following:
    • The business was restricted from operating above 50% capacity by governor’s executive order
      • The business can demonstrate at least a 10% loss of revenue as a result of the COVID


Funding Amounts, if additional funds become available

If additional funds become available, some businesses may be eligible to receive funding. Funding amounts for businesses that have NOT yet received Hennepin County Small Business Relief funds:

  • Businesses with 1 to 50 employees other than the owner are eligible for a total of up to $15,000 of funds for eligible expenses.
  • Self-employed entrepreneurs, or businesses with no employees other than the owner(s), that have a physical establishment in Hennepin County are eligible for up $7,500 in grant funds.

Businesses that have already received funding through Hennepin County’s Small Business Relief (SBR) or Self- Employed Entrepreneur (SEE) funds are eligible to submit for waitlist consideration to receive an additional grant up to $5,000 or $2,500 respectively, if selected from the waitlist.


Ineligible Businesses

Certain businesses are ineligible for waitlist consideration, including:

  • Home-based businesses that have no employees other than the owner(s)
  • Those that primarily derive income from
    • Gambling
    • Adult entertainment
    • Passive investments or business-to-business transactions
    • real estate transactions
    • property rentals or property management
    • billboards
    • lobbying

Online submission forms that are complete, accurate, and meet all screening criteria will be waitlisted.  Submissions with missing, incomplete, or inaccurate information will NOT be considered. Hennepin County reserves the right to deem submissions incomplete or inaccurate and accept or reject submissions on that basis in its sole discretion.


Waitlist Process

If funds and capacity become available, Hennepin County will select online submissions using a randomized numbering system, though the county reserves the right to prioritize businesses with employees that have not received county funds previously, and/or to cap the total number of prior funding recipients from each prior application round.

Hennepin County will notify businesses that complete an online submission form whether their submission was accepted, and whether any additional funds are available for their business by mid-December.


Translation Services Available

Hennepin County offers free interpreter services upon request. Please call 612-348-9812 /

Para asistencia 612-348-9812 / / Yog xav tau kev pab, 612-348-9812 / / Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-348-9812 /


View Small Business Relief Fund impacts

For outcomes and data on direct emergency financial relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19, visit the Small Business Relief impacts page.

Partner organizations reviewing and approving applications

If you have been approved for funding through the Small Business Relief Fund or the Self- Employed Entrepreneur Fund, a representative from one of the organizations listed below are working with applicants to make the grant review process as smooth and efficient as possible.

  • African Development Center (ADC)
  • African Economic Development Solutions
  • Black Women’s Wealth Alliance 
  • Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)
  • Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD)
  • Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA)
  • Neighborhood Development Center (NDC)
  • NEON
  • NextStage
  • WomenVenture

Please contact Mary Matze at with any questions about the partner organizations. 

Translation needs

There are a number of small business technical assistance providers that can answer questions and assist in translation: Small business resource navigators

Connecting to resources

To learn more about other resources and initiatives in Hennepin County, please visit the Hennepin County’s Resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 page.