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Small Business Relief Fund

Small Business Relief Fund

Local funding opportunities to support businesses impacted by COVID-19

Application period closed for emergency funding for restaurants, bars, gyms, entertainment/event venues

The application period has now closed for emergency funding for restaurants, bars, gyms, entertainment/event venues. The deadline was Tuesday, December 1 at noon.   

Restaurants, bars, fitness, and entertainment venues directly impacted by Executive Order 20-99 were able to apply for the county's latest round of grant funding to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

  • Businesses who have not previously received Hennepin County Small Business Relief funds could apply for grants of $15,000.
  • Businesses who have previously received Hennepin County Small Business Relief funds could apply for additional grants of $10,000.

The application period was from Monday, November 23 at noon through Tuesday, December 1 at noon. 

A randomized numbering system (i.e., lottery) will be used to select grant recipients if applications exceed available resources. 

Business owners who applied can expect an update on the status of their application by mid-late December. 

Frequently asked questions 

Updated November 24, 2020: Click to view frequently asked questions (PDF)

Common questions when completing the W9 form

  • I pressed the submit button but did not receive a confirmation from Hennepin County: If you do not receive a confirmation, first check your spam or junk mail. If you don’t see it there, we did not receive your submission. Please revisit the form or fill out a new form. All information must be filled out correctly on all the pages.
  • I don’t see a submit button. A submit button will appear once all of the information has been completed. A common error is on the “Acknowledge and Sign” section. Please make sure all three certification boxes are checked. Once all of the required information is provided you will be able to submit the application. You will receive a confirmation email from Hennepin County acknowledging your submission.
  • I cannot check all three certification boxes because I am subject to backup withholdings: Please contact economic.development@hennepin.us for more information. 
  • How do I know you received my application? You will receive a confirmation email from Hennepin County acknowledging your submission.
  • I cannot sign the form: To sign the form, place your cursor in the signature box. A pop will appear. Using the paintbrush tool or your mouse, sign your name in the box, then click on the green check mark. Click to view video tutorial.
  • I have an EIN number but file my taxes with my social security number because I file under my own name: We prefer that you use your EIN. If you have an EIN but file your business taxes with your SSN, please fill out the form using your SSN. If you have an EIN and you are a sole proprietor, please select “other” and fill out sole proprietor in the box.

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Prior rounds of 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 3 July 30-August 12: Grants up to $15,000 for businesses with 1-50 employees
    Application guidelines 
  • Waitlist application period October 29- November 6

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


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 mary.matze@hennepin.us with any questions about the partner organizations.  

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.

Translations 

Hennepin County offers free interpreter services upon request. Please call 612-348-9812 / economic.development@hennepin.us.

Para asistencia 612-348-9812 / economic.development@hennepin.us / Yog xav tau kev pab, 612-348-9812 / economic.development@hennepin.us / Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-348-9812 / economic.development@hennepin.us