The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Small Business Relief Grants Program will begin accepting applications tomorrow, June 23. The application will close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2. DEED will select grant awards through a computer-generated, randomized process shortly after closure of the application.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible.

Provisions in the legislation identify specific funding be allocated to businesses that meet certain criteria, including: businesses with fewer than six employees, minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, and indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis.

Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants web page.

Other important notes about eligibility

Priority will be to businesses that were restricted from operating by executive order on May 18, 2020, such that the business could not operate at least at 51% of normal capacity.

Nonprofits are not eligible.

Home-based businesses are not eligible, unless it is an in-home licensed child-care provider.

If you received a Small Business Emergency Loan (SBEL), you are not eligible for this program.

If you received a Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) Loan, you are eligible for this program.

If you need help applying for a grant, contact the West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center at 218-299-3037 or