ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announed that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants starts accepting applications June 23, after just being approved by Minnesota Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Walz.

The program will give $10,000 grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19. Half of the grants will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the Twin Cities metro area. The funds can be used for business expenses like payroll expenses, rent, or utility bills.

“Small businesses across our state urgently need this relief,” said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove in the news release announcing the program.

Businesses qualify for a grant if they are majority-owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota with a permanent physical location in Minnesota and 50 or fewer full-time employees. They must show how they were affected by the pandemic.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees;
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises;
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses;
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses;
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis.

Applications open June 23 and close at 5 p.m. July 2. Awards will be randomly selected and administered by qualified nonprofit agencies.

More information is available on the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants web page at mn.gov/deed.