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Small Business Relief Fund

Small Business Relief Fund

Funding opportunities to support businesses impacted by COVID-19

Small business and nonprofit relief application period closed


The application period for the Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund (Round 5) is now closed.

An interactive tool that displays the impacts of the first four rounds of funding, including more than 4,600 small business relief grants totaling more than $44.7 million can be found on Hennepin County’s Small Business Relief Fund impacts page.


On this page: 


Application status requests

If you applied for Hennepin County’s Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund (Round 5) that closed on January 14, 2021 and would like a status update, please read the information below:

  • We are processing the high volume of applications for small business and nonprofit relief funding (Round 5). We will have limited information and limited availability to respond to status update requests before February. 
  • You can expect a reply from program administrator NextStage, a nonprofit consultant to Hennepin County, regarding your application in mid-February. If you would like to verify the authenticity of correspondence from NextStage or other entities, please email, and forward the correspondence in question. 
  • We will respond to requests for status updates in the order they are received starting Monday, February 8, however, due to high volumes response times may be delayed. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
  • For the fastest response, email, and forward your confirmation email from the time of application, if you have it.


Funding and selection process

The Hennepin County Board committed CARES resources throughout 2020 to provide sufficient resources to fund all eligible businesses that applied and completed the necessary paperwork to the Hennepin County Small Business Relief Fund Rounds 1-3 held in May – August 2020.

  • In Round 4 held in November-December 2020, CARES resources were sufficient to fund 76% of businesses that met eligibility criteria by end of 2020.  The allocation of $24.6 million provided by the State of Minnesota for small business relief now makes it possible for 100% of businesses that met eligibility criteria in Round 4 to receive funds by end of January 2021.

  • In all funding rounds, businesses were deemed eligible to receive grant funds based on criteria like business size, revenue impacts due to COVID-19, and eligible expenses, and were processed in randomized order.

  • Geographic location, race, ethnicity, or gender identity were not factors in eligibility or prioritization.

  • Hennepin County translated materials and worked with community partners to promote each round of funding, and worked to ensure that business owners across Hennepin County had equitable access to the application opportunities available.


Prior rounds of Hennepin County Small Business Relief funding 

Since May 2020, Hennepin County has approved $44.7 million in small business relief grants through four prior funding rounds:

  • 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
  • Round 4: November 23-December 1: Restaurants, bars, fitness, and entertainment venues directly impacted by Executive Order 20-99 were able to apply for grants up to $15,000. Business owners who applied have been notified of the status of funding. If you applied and have not received an email communication from Hennepin County or NextStage, please contact

Connecting to resources, interpreter services

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.

To receive additional updates, sign up for our business support newsletter.

Hennepin County offers free interpreter services upon request. Please email

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