Minnesota grants available for small businesses affected by COVID-19

Mn Employment

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) – A new Minnesota state grant program will provide up to $10,000 to Winona-area businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Applications are now open for the Small Business Relief Grants Program for businesses that can demonstrate hardship created by COVID-19. The program is open to all for-profit businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees, a permanent location in the state, and majority-owned by a Minnesota resident.

The application period began today, Tuesday, June 23, and closes at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 2. A computer-generated lottery will then randomly choose eligible businesses to receive grants. Funds can be used for payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses. The funds are grants; businesses will be required to report how they spent the funds, but are not asked to pay them back.

Borrowers must apply through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Click here for the online application, and more information on eligibility.

The Minnesota Legislature approved the program last week. The fund has $60 million, half of which will go to Greater Minnesota and half to the Twin Cities metro area. Portions of the fund will be specifically allocated to minority-owned businesses and businesses with fewer than six employees.

The Port Authority of Winona’s Emergency Loan Fund is also still available. The loan program has provided needed cashflow for nearly 25 small Winona businesses, and still has funding available.

For more information and to apply, visit portofwinona.com for details. Loans are interest-free, have payments deferred until January 2021, will be paid back over a maximum term of 7 years, and require borrowers to back the loan with a personal guarantee.