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Small business relief programs

Small business relief programs

Local funding opportunities to support businesses impacted by COVID-19

New application round is now open

Hennepin County is announcing the availability of $10 million towards a new round of emergency funding for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Eligible small businesses may apply for grants of up to $15,000 to support emergency relief and costs associated with reopening under public health guidelines.

Applications will be accepted Thursday, July 30 at noon through Wednesday, August 12 at noon.

Funding may be used for:

  • Commercial rent or mortgage payments
  • Utility payments
  • Inventory costs
  • Paying other direct business-related bills
  • Costs incurred to purchase supplies including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Technological improvements to online platforms essential to operations during COVID-19

View the application guidelines below for more information about eligible expenses.

Eligibility

To qualify, businesses must:

  • Be a locally-owned, for-profit business with a permanent physical establishment in Hennepin County impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Employ at least one employee other than an owner and not more than 50 employees
  • Be registered and in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State, if required
  • Be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19
  • Have operated and generated revenue in Hennepin County on or before January 15, 2020

Priority will be given to businesses that have received $5,000 or less in COVID-19 related emergency relief funding from other local, county, and state sources.

Eligible businesses that have received a prior Hennepin County Small Business Relief Fund grant can apply for additional funds up to a combined total of $15,000 for eligible expenses as described below. The minimum grant amount is $2,500.

Apply now

Apply here (English) 

Aplicar aquí (Spanish)   

Thov kev pab nov (Hmong)

lyyata asitti galfadhu(Oromo)

Halkan ka codso (Somali)

Applications will be accepted Thursday, July 30 at noon through Wednesday, August 12 at noon. Applications will be accepted online only. Funds will be distributed through a random lottery process.

Help applying is available through the following organizations.

Supporting documents

Please review the below supporting documents.

English 

Spanish

Hmong

Oromo

Somali

Additional funding available through collaboration with cities

Hennepin County is coordinating with cities who are also allocating CARES Act funds to provide small business relief grants. By applying through Hennepin County’s online application portal, your business will have streamlined access to apply for additional funding available through your city.

The portal provides access to county funds as well as additional funds in these cities. Program criteria, eligible uses of funds, and award amounts may vary. For details, go to the city websites listed below.

 

City of Plymouth logoVisit the City of Plymouth's website for more information.

 

St Louis Park logoVisit the City of St. Louis Park's website for more information. 

After applying 

Applications selected to move forward for further review and funding will be required to submit some supporting documentation. Please see guidelines below for details.

You will be notified by email about the status of your application on or before August 21.

The County reserves the right to cancel, suspend, or modify the Small Business Relief Program for any reason and at any time with no liability to any applicants.

Previous application rounds

Small business relief programs made available through the Hennepin County Self- Employed Entrepreneur Fund and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Small Business Relief Grants Program are now closed. 

Helpful information for applicants that have been selected to receive funding through these programs can be found below.

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
  • Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF)  
  • 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. 

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.