Small Business & Workforce

General resources

Sign up for the MN SBA newsletter here. These nearly daily updates include SBA program updates, non-governmental funding opportunities, training schedules, and more. Be sure to add your MN zip code to receive Minnesota-specific information.

The Minnesota SBA District Office hosts free, daily training webinars to provide information to small businesses on a variety of topics. Attendee questions are addressed after the presentation. The Minnesota District Office is available to answer questions from small businesses at (612) 370-2337, including weekends. 

LegalCORPS offers free brief legal advice by phone to all small business owners and full representation to low-income business owners who meet income guidelines. For those who are above their income guidelines, those applications are being reviewed on a case by case basis due to pandemic considerations. Find out more at legalcorps.org.

Funding Opportunities

Federal Coronavirus Relief

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small businesses and private non-profits working capital loans of up to $150,000 that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Due to high demand and limited funds, EIDL loans and advances are currently only open to agricultural businesses. If you submitted your EIDL application before the portal closed on April 15th, your application is still being processed and will be considered by the SBA on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the CARES Act, is a loan designed to provide relief to small businesses while incentivizing employers to keep their employees on payroll. It is administered via local lenders - a list of Minnesota lenders can be found here. A PPP loan can be forgivable if the small business follows a specific set of restrictions over the eight week period after the loan funds are received. On May 15th, the application for loan forgiveness was published and can be found here. Additional clarifications can be found in this list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the PPP released by the Treasury Department - it is updated regularly. The deadline to apply for the PPP is June 30th, 2020.

If you have questions or need clarifications about these resources, for example around forgivability, please reach out to our office at MN05.info@mail.house.gov.  

State Coronavirus Relief

Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) established a Small Business Emergency Loan program to assist small businesses adversely and directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Current loan requests have exceeded the program funding and applications are now closed. 

For a full list of DEED small business financing programs, click here.

County Coronavirus Relief

Hennepin County is awarding grants of up to $3,000 to self-employed entrepreneurs. Applications open at noon on Tuesday, May 19th and close on May 29th. Follow this link for the application, terms, and eligibility.

Reopening Your Business Safely - Stay Safe MN

Governor Walz’s Stay Safe order went into effect on May 18th. Customer-facing retail businesses are now able to reopen, if they choose to, as long as they do the following:

  1. Have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place

  1. Follow physical distancing guidelines

  • Encourage the use of masks

  • Follow appropriate cleaning and disinfecting practices 

  1. Operate at less than 50% occupancy

  • Per CDC guidelines, employee health screening questions should be asked. Screening questions may be asked to employees verbally. If an employee answers yes to any of these questions, they should be sent home

  • Retail businesses do not need to secure individual approval from the State or City in order to reopen

Minnesota DEED has compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions about reopening.

Additional Reopening Resources

MN Department of Employment and Economic Development: Safely Returning to Work website

MN Department of Labor and Industry: Preparedness Plan resources

MN Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Request a free, on-site consultation to help employers improve workplace safety

The next phase of Minnesota’s reopening was announced by Governor Walz on May 20th, scheduled to begin on June first. For details and to see if your business will be eligible to reopen - Stay Safe Plan.