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Small Business Relief Fund impacts

Outcomes and data on direct emergency financial relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19

From May 2020 through March 2021, Hennepin County provided more than 6,500 Small Business Relief grants totaling $69.9 million.

Funding sources included:

  • $45.3 million in federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and
  • $24.6 million in funding from the State of Minnesota

More than 40% of all Hennepin County Small Business grants were provided to businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and people of color. Hennepin County translated materials and worked with community partners to promote each round of funding and ensure equitable access to the application and resources.

More detailed data is available in the dashboard below for 6,507 grants totaling $69.91 million.

Application rounds

Hennepin County held five application rounds through the Small Business Relief fund, each with distinct criteria designed to reach businesses most impacted by COVID-19, including:

  • Round 1: Grants up to $10,000 for businesses with 1–20 employees
  • Round 2: Grants up to $5,000 for self-employed entrepreneurs and sole proprietors, including home-based businesses
  • Round 3: Grants up to $15,000 for businesses with 1–50 employees
  • Round 4: Grants up to $15,000 for restaurants, bars, gyms and entertainment/event venues
  • Round 5: Grants up to $15,000 for small businesses and nonprofits

In all application rounds, businesses were eligible based on criteria such as business size, revenue impacts due to COVID-19, and eligible expenses. Eligible businesses for each round were processed in randomized order to ensure fair access. In some rounds, priority was given to applicants that had not received funding through a prior Hennepin County SBR round. Geographic location within the county, race, ethnicity, and gender identity were not factors in determining eligibility or prioritization.