COVID-19 Resources

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Minnesota Departments of Employment and Economic Development and Revenue Announce Resources available through New Small Business Relief Package  

By Commissioners Steve Grove (DEED) and Robert Doty (Revenue)  

We know that many small Minnesota businesses are hurting now due to the pandemic. In response, lawmakers from across the state came together to pass funding for small business relief this month and Governor Walz signed the measure into law.  

As Commissioners of the Minnesota Departments of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and Revenue, we're happy to announce the temporary programs established by the state in response to the continued impacts of COVID-19 in order to help Minnesota businesses weather this difficult time.  

The three new programs included in Minnesota’s small business relief package signed into law December 16 are: 

  • COVID-19 Business Relief Payments (Aid for Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, and Bowling Centers) – The Minnesota Department of Revenue (DOR) will administer this funding and notify eligible businesses through their e-Services account by December 31, 2020. Eligible business owners do not need to take any action to receive this aid. Payments will be mailed in early January 2021. For more information, please review eligibility, payment amounts, and the timeline.    
  • Minnesota Convention Center Relief Grant Program – This temporary program was established to provide economic relief for convention centers adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will make grants of up to $500,000 to eligible convention centers located in Minnesota. DEED will administer this program. All convention centers interested in receiving a relief grant must submit a completed application. Applications will be available on January 5th.    
  • Minnesota Movie Theater Relief Grant Program – This temporary program was established to provide economic relief for movie theaters adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will make grants of up to $150,000 to eligible movie theaters located in Minnesota. DEED will administer this program. All movie theaters interested in receiving a relief grant must submit a completed application. Applications will be available on January 5th.    
  • County Relief Program – We are working closely with Minnesota counties to disburse money. All counties must apply, forms to do so will be available later this week. 

We will continue to share information about these small business relief programs in the coming weeks.  

Minnesota businesses have made tremendous sacrifices to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Aid for Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, and Bowling Centers

The Minnesota Department of Revenue will send COVID-19 Business Relief Payments to eligible businesses under a $216 million economic relief package signed into law December 16.

Eligible business owners do not need to take any action to receive this aid. We will determine eligibility and payment amounts based on the program requirements outlined on this page. You can also view this information in a visual format (PDF).

Eligible Businesses

This program provides direct payments to businesses required to temporarily close or reduce services in November under Executive Order 20-99.

Businesses in the following categories — as reported by the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance program — may be eligible: 

  • Full- and limited-service restaurants
  • Cafeterias and buffets
  • Caterers
  • Bars
  • Breweries with taprooms
  • Family wineries with tasting rooms
  • Distilleries with tasting rooms
  • Bowling centers
  • Gyms and fitness centers

Program Requirements

We will send payments to eligible businesses that meet the rest of the program requirements:

  • Located in Minnesota
  • Had at least $10,000 in taxable sales in 2019
  • Filed Sales Tax returns in 2019 and 2020
  • Experienced a 30% drop in year-over-year taxable sales (April-September)
  • Required to temporarily close or reduce services by Executive Order 20-99

Relief Payment Amounts

Eligible businesses will receive a payment based on their number of employees and participation in the state Unemployment Insurance system. The payments are considered taxable income and will be calculated as shown below.



1 to 20


21 to 100


101 to 300


301 or more


Small businesses not in the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance system will receive $10,000.

Payment Process

  1. We will use current tax and unemployment records to determine what businesses are eligible and the amount of their aid payment. 
  2. We will notify eligible businesses though their e-Services account by December 31, 2020.
  3. We will mail payments to eligible businesses in early-January 2021, to the the main address on their Sales Tax account. Electronic payments are not available for this program.

Note: To verify business addresses, log in to e-Services. For questions about your business category or number of employees, contact Minnesota Unemployment Insurance

More Information

We'll update this page as needed with the latest information. For questions about this program or your payment, email us at or call 651-282-9999.

Love Letter from SBA Minnesota

Our small business communities here in Minnesota have taken some heavy hits from COVID-19 and the last week of civil unrest has added heavily to the devastation here, especially but not limited to the Twin Cities metro area. All Minnesota District Office team members are residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs and we are committed to helping the state repair and recover.

We love Minnesota and the small businesses and non-profits that work hard everyday to create jobs and opportunities for a brighter tomorrow. We are actively looking for ways to support all by sharing information, providing SBA-backed loans to rebuild, and leveraging training tools to make tomorrow better than today. We will share that information with you through this newsletter as it becomes available.

We are here for you Minnesota and we will continue to do all we can, with any and all resources available to us, to help your small business start, grow, expand and recover. Reach out to us at or (612) 370-2324 and follow us on Twitter at @SBA_Minnesota to learn about the support we offer and for more information.


SBA’s Minnesota District Office Team

Stakeholder Announcement: USDA Leadership from Farm Production and Conservation and Rural Development Update Stakeholders on Accessing SBA Relief Programs

(April 24, 2020) USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey and Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today held a joint announcement to provide guidance from the respective agencies on the resources provided in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (HR.266) recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. | Stakeholder Announcement

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities

 Go to for details 

Affected by COVID-19 USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America.

Visit for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

A Guide for Minnesota Small Businesses Who Need Help

March 31, 2020 | Economic Development

Over the past few weeks, several state and federal programs have been built to assist small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Different programs make sense for different businesses, so we’re providing this summary guide to help small businesses quickly see which programs might be right for their situation.  

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

  • Summary of Program: Congress authorized a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers those who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits, such as independent contractors and self-employed people. The program was authorized but must be created by the states, so Minnesota must build out this program before it can be implemented. More information will be available soon, however it could be several weeks before payments begin.
  • Why this might make sense for you: If you are an independent contractor or self-employed person who would not typically be eligible for unemployment benefits, but you have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program

  • Summary of Program: Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loans are made through an approved lender – you can find FAQs, application materials and lenders on the DEED website. These loans are for $2,500 to $35,000 and at a 0% interest rate. There is a total of $30 million available for this program.
  • Why this might make sense for you: If you are affected by Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08, this program could provide a 0% loan to help you meet expenses.

Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

  • Summary of Program: This program provides a 80% loan guarantee for loans up to $250,000 made by a qualified economic development lender within this program. Details for business are not yet on DEED’s website but DEED and agency partners are reaching out to lenders to make them aware of this new program – look for more details soon. This program is intended to incent the private market to make loans to small businesses and provides the guarantee for those loan dollars. The state is providing a loan guarantee of $10 million which is likely to leverage between $20 and $25 million in lending by private banks.
  • Why this might make sense for you: Your lender will consider your situation and may require this guarantee in order to lend money to your business.

Unemployment Insurance Shared Work Program

  • Summary of Program: The Shared Work program offers an alternative to layoffs for employers facing a temporary downturn in business. Administered by DEED’s Unemployment Insurance Division, the program allows employers to divide available hours of work among a group of employees instead of implementing a full layoff. These employees may then receive partial unemployment insurance benefits while working reduced hours. The purpose of Shared Work is to avoid a layoff, not to subsidize wages.
  • Why this might make sense for you: Shared Work can help employers avoid the difficulties that can go along with a layoff. If employees keep working during a temporary slowdown, employers can more quickly gear up when business conditions improve. Learn more about the Shared Work Program on our Unemployment Insurance Division's website

So given these options, where should you start?

1. First, we recommend is contacting your insurance company. You may have access to benefits you’ve paid into through your policy that could be helpful during this time.

2. Next, call your bank. Your banker will have advice for you on:

  • Their own resources
  • Any SBA programs they have access to
  • They may refer you to local lending programs such as those available through non-profits (like the Small Business Emergency Loan Program) or loan programs available in certain cities or counties across Minnesota

3. If you’ve been denied credit by a bank or the SBA, you should call any of the approved lenders for the Small Business Emergency Loan Program that serve your geography.

4. If you do not use a bank and/or do not have insurance on your business:

  • You can call any of DEED approved lenders for the Small Business Emergency Loan Program for possible access to the program and other resources available through our lending partners.
  • You may also call a lender in the Small Business Loan Guarantee program, when those lenders are identified. Please note that these lenders are likely banks or local development organizations who have underwriting criteria.
  • You could call your city or county to see if they have a revolving loan fund that is available to your business. Please note that not many cities in the metro area have these revolving loan funds and those that do will have underwriting criteria.

Visit the COVID-19 Information for Employers and Businesses page on the DEED website for more resources related to business assistance, Unemployment Insurance and FAQs.


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USDA Unveils Tool to Help Rural Communities Address the COVID-19 Pandemic

USDA’s COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide Lists Federal Programs That Can Help Rural Communities, Organizations and Residents Impacted by COVID-19 

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide (PDF, 349 KB) is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities preparing for and impacted by COVID-19,” Perdue said. “This resource guide will help our rural leaders, whether they are in agriculture, education, health care or any other leadership capacity, understand what federal assistance is available for their communities during this unprecedented time.”

USDA has taken many immediate actions to assist farmers, ranchers, producers, rural communities, and rural-based businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on these actions, visit