We are also monitoring Minnesota House File 5, which approves approximately $62 million for grants to small businesses. Half of this amount will go to businesses outside the metro area.
A business will be eligible if it is owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota, is located in Minnesota, employs 50 full-time workers or less, is in good standing with the secretary of state and department of revenue, and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Eligible businesses may receive grants of up to $10,000 to use on payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.
Certain businesses will have priority based on size or demographics. At least $18 million must go to businesses that employ the equivalent of 6 full-time workers or less, at least $10 million must go to minority business enterprises, at least $2.5 million must go to businesses that are majority owned and operated by veterans, at least $2.5 million to businesses that are majority owned and operated by women, and at least $2.5 million must go to “operators of a privately owned permanent indoor retail space and food market that has an ethnic cultural emphasis having at least 25 tenants primarily comprised of businesses with fewer than 20 employees.”
Grants will be approved on a lottery basis. The application period will last no more than 10 calendar days. Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation will be administering a portion of these funds to businesses in this region, though details are not yet available.