Update on state funding approved for small business relief
The Minnesota Legislature has approved a $217 million relief package for businesses impacted by COVID-19 executive orders. About half of the package will be given to counties to distribute through grant programs to local businesses by March 15, 2021.
Through the package, Ramsey County will receive $10.7 million to distribute to businesses. At this time, we anticipate that most of the funding will be used to supplement the Small Business Relief Fund.
Launched in June, the Small Business Relief Fund has been investing $15 million of CARES Act funding into Ramsey County businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs / sole proprietors. A third round of applications for the program opened on Nov. 18, the same week that Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-99, which dialed back restrictions on bars, restaurants and gyms. Applications closed Dec. 4.
The volume of applications received during late November and early December exceeded the original $15 million budget for the fund. We estimate the outstanding applications total around $8-9 million in funding requests. The new $10.7 million in state funding will be prioritized to fulfill these outstanding applications.
Information on future application periods for the Small Business Relief Fund or other grant programs will be available once we’ve further reviewed existing applications to determine the amount of remaining funds available.