For Immediate Release
Contact: Bob McClintick
(320) 631-2008 or
Foundation, DEED Partner to Deliver Small Business Relief Grants in Central Minnesota
Potential for hundreds of non-repayable grants exists for locally owned and operated small business in the region affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
LITTLE FALLS, MINN.—The Initiative Foundation and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) have forged a partnership to distribute hundreds of small business relief grants in Central Minnesota.

The application for the Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants program will make grants of $10,000 to $25,000 available to businesses owned and operated by Minnesotan who can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The application will open at 10 a.m. on Sept. 20 and will close at midnight on Sept. 29.

A total of $64,200,000 is available. Half of the money is earmarked for Greater Minnesota and will be awarded by an array of regionally based nonprofit organizations, including the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations. Qualifying grant applications will be selected lottery-style using DEED's computer-generated, randomized selection process.

Priority consideration will be given to applicants that have not received assistance through previous relief programs that include the Small Business Emergency Loan program, the Small Business Relief Grant program, the Movie Theater and Convention Center Relief Grant program, and the County Relief Grant program.

Qualifying applicants will receive a grant amount based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTEs) employees on staff:

  • $10,000 – 6 FTEs or less
  • $15,000 – Between 7 and 49 FTEs
  • $20,000 – Between 50 and 99 FTEs
  • $25,000 – Between 100 and 200 FTEs

Grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills and other similar business expenses. Additional eligibility requirements--as well as downloadable fliers and video content in English, Espanol, Hmong, Somali and Vietnamese--can be found online at DEED’s Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants page.

“We’re grateful to the Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz for this much-needed relief effort, and for designating the Initiative Foundation to deliver millions of dollars in grants to Central Minnesota businesses," said Brian Voerding, Initiative Foundation vice president for inclusive entrepreneurship. “As always, our goal is to use our existing systems and processes to get these relief grants out the door and into the hands of eligible businesses as quickly as possible.”
About the Initiative Foundation

Celebrating its 35th year, the Initiative Foundation exists to improve the quality of life and to build stronger communities within its 14-county region of Central Minnesota by offering business loans, grants, leadership training and donor services through its Partner Funds programs. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds have invested multiple millions in the region through targeted grants and business financing investments.