Gov’t Assistance Updates

Dear MLBA Members,

We are using this page to include releases from MN Department of Economic Development, U.S Small Business Administration,  MN Department of Commerce and other agencies as information on assistance comes in during this Covid-19 pandemic.

**March 10, 2022 Update**

Via a press release from the Senate DFL regarding Senate File 2695 “Hospitality Recovery Grant Program” . . .

“The small businesses that comprise Minnesota’s hospitality industry would have the opportunity to receive immediate and direct financial aid if legislation discussed in today’s Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee becomes law. The legislation, SF 2695, would establish a Hospitality Recovery Grant Program which will help this hard-hit industry recover, according to Chief Author Senator Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights). KLEIN: ‘Our hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and many of these small mom and pop businesses are struggling today. … This grant program would go a long way in delivering direct and immediate aid, and would help these businesses across the state.’”

**Sept 13, 2021 Update**

Please read and review the linked information sheet provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) click here. This loan and loan application is much different than regular Disaster Loan Programs. This round of loans from the SBA are low-interest fixed-rate long-term loans that provide help to small businesses and other entities to assist in overcoming the effects of the pandemic by providing borrowers with working capital to meet ordinary expenses.

This program ends December 31, 2021 or when funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

**Sept 3, 2021 Update**

The state of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development DEED will begin accepting applications for relief grants on September 20th, click here for that article.

**May 3 Update**

Applications for SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant program is now open. If you have not submitted an application yet, please do so TODAY.  SBA’s grant site has the application information. Click here.

**April 27, 2021 update **

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grant program will begin accepting applications this Monday, May 3.  Applicants can log on to SBA’s RRF page this Friday to create an account and download the latest forms.

If you have not submitted an application yet, please do so TODAY.  SBA’s grant site has the application information. Click here.

Who can apply

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

For more information go to SBA’s RRF page.

**April 26, 2021 Update**

The SBA has also begun doling out $5 billion in additional grants to small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, the agency announced April 23. The new grants, called “Supplemental Targeted Advances,” will go to 1 million eligible small businesses, which the SBA will begin contacting over the coming weeks, the agency said. These grants will be open to small businesses even if they had already received $10,000 in its other grant programs. The SBA had modified its Targeted EIDL Advance application process to see if businesses also qualified for the $5,000 supplemental grant, and small businesses that are contacted by the agency will have their applications processed on a first-come, first-served basis, the SBA said. Eligibility for these new supplemental grants will be based on being located in a low-income community; can show 50% or more decrease in sales during any eight-week period beginning on March 2, 2020 or later, compared to the same time in 2019; and have 10 employees or fewer.

Small business owners can look up whether or not they are in a low-income community by using this map from SBA, click here. Questions about the new supplemental grants can email questions to the SBA at [email protected].

**April 19, 2021 Update**

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) just released a sample application for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) and a program guide.

The SBA has not announced when they will begin accepting applications – this release is a sample application and guide so that bars and restaurants can review and prepare.

SBA is awarding funding through the Restaurant Revitalization Program to restaurants, bars, and other similar places of business that serve food or drink. The purpose of this funding is to provide support to eligible entities that suffered revenue losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

** March 11, 2021 Update **

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (part of the massive $1.9 Trillion relief package sign into law March 11, 2021) will create a new federal program for restaurant owners with 20 or fewer locations. Operators can apply for tax-free grants of up to $5 million per location, or up to $10 million for multi-location operations. The grant amount is determined by subtracting 2020 sales from 2019 revenues. Funds from the grants can be spent on a wider range of expenses than previous relief programs, including mortgages or rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage inventory, payroll, and operational expenses. Five billion dollars of the fund will be set aside for restaurants with gross receipts under $500,000 and, for the first three weeks of the application period, the Small Business Administration will prioritize awarding grants for women-, veteran-, or socially and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses.

For more information go to the Small Business Administration’s Coronavirus Relief Page.

**January 25, 2021 Update **

Aid for Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, and Bowling Centers

The Minnesota Department of Revenue sent COVID-19 Business Relief Payments to restaurants, bars, gyms, and bowling centers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They notified eligible businesses and mailed their payments on January 13, 2021.

The program is part of a state economic relief measure signed into law in December. Eligibility and payment amounts are based on requirements in the law and outlined below.

Note: If you think your business should have received a payment, or received the wrong amount, you can contact them online. (Go to COVID-19 Business Relief Inquiry.)

If you’re not eligible for a COVID-19 Business Relief Payment, you may qualify for a state or county grant under this law. For more information, visit the Department of Employment and Economic Development website or check with your county.

State Budget Proposals Have Additional Emergency Funding

On January 26th Gov. Walz proposed in his budget (among other things)

  • $50 million in a new Small Business COVID Support forgivable loan program
  • $1 million for Minnesota’s statewide network of Small Business Development Centers
  • $3 million per year in new supports for small businesses who have been hit especially hard by COVID-19

**December 10, 2020 Update **

Minnesota House and Senate Agree to an Emergency Funding Package

Governor Walz will announce on Monday, December 14th, 2020 what the Direct Payment Relief Package will look like.  However, we have been meeting with all of the agencies responsible for this package and wanted to give you a heads up as to where the proposal is currently at. This is not the final draft but a good view at what may in fact be enacted.  The goal of our coalition efforts was to put together a relief package that would get in your hands as fast as possible while providing the most amount of funding allowed by the legislature.

If the relief package were to go through the Department of Employment and Economic Development in the form of a grant, our licensees in need would not see that money until sometime in June, 2021!! We were able to work with DEED and other agencies to convince them that the need is immediate and none of us can wait for 7 more months. So, this program will be announced on the 14th and it will be a Direct Payment Program. Meaning, there will be some qualifications and parameters but the funds will be distributed very soon.

There will be 3 phases to this relief package roll out. Phase One includes the majority of on-premise establishments. This program will be immediate. Phase Two will roll out and encompass large convention centers and movie theaters in the amount of $14 million. Phase Three will roll out sometime around  March 15th, 2021 and will be a county level distribution model. The majority of our licensees will fall under Phase One but will also be able to apply for the 3rd Phase county distribution. When the 3rd Phase application period comes, we will let you know ASAP.

Phase One:

  • There is no application needed for these funds.
  • The funds allocated will be based on your EIN# (Employer ID Number or Tax ID) and sales tax calculations from Q2 2019 through Q2 2020.  These sales tax calculations will be based upon revenue loss of 30% or greater.
  • Small businesses that are not a part of the UI program will receive $10K
  • 0-20 Employees will receive $15K
  • 21-100 Employees will receive $25K
  • 101-300 Employees will receive $35K
  • 301+ Employees will receive $45K

Phase Two:

  • $14M will be available for large convention centers and Movie Theaters.
  • The proposal is to allocate $9M to the Convention Centers and $5M to the Movie Theaters.
  • These funds will be sent out via DEED grants. More details coming.

Phase Three:

  • County Level Allocation of $102 million.
  • All of you will be eligible to receive these funds through the county your business is located in. Thus far, hotels will fall under this phase.  I encourage you to contact your counties, when the relief bill passes and they will provide that structure to you, once it is distributed to us.  Of course, the larger the county, the more that county will be receiving in funding.  These funds have to be distributed by March 15, 2021.

Click below to see a PDF of the current draft bill language that the legislature is meeting about this week.

Click here for a press conference from Senator’s Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, and Representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar, presented the plan in a virtual press conference Thursday, December 10.

**November 18, 2020 Update **

Hennepin County Board Supporting Bars and Restaurants Impacted by COVID-19

The board allocated $8 million of economic support to local restaurants, bars and food service establishments suffering business interruptions due to COVID-19.


Hennepin County is offering this support as COVID-19 infections continue to rise and public health measures are likely to further impact bars and restaurants.

Grants up to $15,000 will be available to businesses that are locally owned and operated; have a physical establishment in Hennepin County; have 100 or fewer employees; and have $6 million in annual revenues or less.

Since June, Hennepin County has given out more than $22 million in Small Business Relief grants in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Click here for a StarTribune article on this.
Click here for the Small Business Relief Fund from Hennepin County (Application will be posted on the Hennepin County site on Monday, November 23)

**June 2, 2020 Update **

U.S. House and Senate Approve Changes to Small Business Paycheck Protection Program

MLBA had been working with the Minnesota delegation to Congress, specifically Rep. Dean Phillips to get some changes to the Paycheck Protection Program. Specifically changed was extending the eight-week period in which they must use the money to qualify for loan forgiveness to 24 weeks. And changing the rule requiring program recipients to use 75% of the money for payroll costs and limit other costs to no more than 25% to be eligible for loan forgiveness to at least 60% on payroll and no more than 40% on other bills. The legislation would also allow businesses that receive loan forgiveness under the program to defer payroll taxes.

The House vote was 471 – 1 to make these changes. The US Senate passed the House ‘s version of the vill on Wednesday, June 3rd. The bill awaits the President’s signature.

Here are the most important links for emergency and disaster loans:

If you need a template for declaring you employee an “Essential Worker”: click here for a Word Document.

I want to pass along the attached information about the recent legislation passed.  Every company with less than 500 employees impacted by the Covid-19 should apply for this!  It is a loan at 4% for 250% of your monthly payroll and is totally forgivable if you don’t lay anyone off for two months.  Other quick recommendations are:

  • You can apply though your own bank if they are an approved SBA lender.  If they are not or if they say they are working on getting approved, go to another bank.
  • Some owners are having their bankers complete the forms for them.  It wouldn’t hurt to check.
  • As you start the process, set up a daily call with your banker until it is submitted.
  • You will get better service from your bank if you are very thorough in providing all of the documentation needed.

Here is a link with more information about these SBA loans from the Federal Government:…otection-program/

MN DPS to Extend Licenses During Emergency: Last updated: 04/3/2020

  • Recent legislation directs the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DPS-DVS) division to extend the expiration date for any valid driver’s license, instruction permit, operator’s permit, limited license, farm work license, identification card, and disability certificate that expires during the peacetime emergency. The expiration dates for these licenses will be extended for two months after the month the peacetime emergency ends.
  • Driver’s Licenses/Permits/Identification Cards: DPS-DVS is updating records to reflect the extension. As a result, the expiration printed on the driver’s license, permit, or identification card will not match the expiration date displayed on the record. Affected records will have display the notation “EXPIRATION DATE EXTENDED BY EMERGENCY” when queried.
  • Disability Certificates: DPS-DVS is updating records to reflect the extension. The expiration printed on the certificate will not match the expiration date displayed on the record. Affected records will have display the notation “EXPIRATION DATE EXTENDED BY EMERGENCY” when queried.
  • Motor Vehicle Registration: Minnesotans are able to renew vehicle registrations online at and by mail during the peacetime emergency. As such, there are no extensions for expired or expiring vehicle registrations. Minnesotans have until the last day of the expiration month to renew their vehicle registration. They must display their registration stickers by the 10th of the following month.

Please also check back here often and  also our Facebook Page for updates.

Tony Chesak,
MLBA Executive Director


From 3/23/2020: News from DEED on Small Business Loans

** Added 4/1/2020:

A Guide for Minnesota Small Businesses Who Need Help – Click Here

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

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

View this new guide on the DEED website to see at a glance all the programs available now to businesses.

DEED Developments Blog • Click Subscribe to receive more information from DEED.


New Small and Independent Contractor Loan Program

The Governor and Department of Employment and Economic Development Peter Grove announced a small business and independent contractor loan program designed to be a resource that can be accessed quickly, even before Federal Small Business Administration loans are available.

The details of the program are:

  • Eligible businesses are those impacted by Executive Order 20-04 relating to dine-in service restrictions at bars and restaurants and other public accommodation businesses.
  • Loan amounts available range from $2,500 and $35,000.
  • The loans are 50 percent forgivable with a zero percent interest rate.
  • Move information on applying for these loans will be available later this week.
  • The Executive Order also allows cities and counties to use State revolving loan funds to assist businesses.
  • Click here for details.

Commissioner Grove mentioned that this action frees up $58 million in assistance for small businesses. He also mentioned that since last week the State has received 123,624 applications for unemployment. Click here to read Executive Order 20-15.

More information, such as how to apply, will be available in the next few days.


3/25/20 Update: The massive Federal $2 Trillion Coronavirus Bill has provisions in it for small business:

  • Roughly $350 billion would go toward loans for small businesses.
  • Companies with fewer than 500 employees could be eligible for up to $10 million in forgivable small-business loans to allow them to keep paying their employees.
  • Small businesses that maintain payroll would be eligible for assistance for costs such as mortgage interest, rent and utilities.
  • The bill has yet to be passed, stay tuned.


From 3/20/2020: News from SBA on Small Business Loans

Small Business Administration (SBA) sent this bulletin at 03/20/2020 09:57 PM EDT

Minnesota Small Businesses Now Eligible For SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Thanks to a concerted effort by the state of Minnesota and the SBA to contain the economic impact of Coronavirus, the state’s small businesses are now eligible for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and can apply for a loan on our website at

  • This program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
  • The current interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75%.
  • These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.
  • Need help filling out the application? Access these step-by-step instructions

Apply Online


News from MN – DEED

We care deeply about your business and are actively working with state and federal partners on measures to assist businesses through this unprecedented time. The MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is regularly connecting with business leaders from around Minnesota to offer information, hear their questions and ensure we are doing all we can as quickly as we can.

Click here for a 3/19/20 release on:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration loans available soon
  • Sales tax grace period
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Unemployment Insurance Shared Work Program
  • Unemployment Insurance Information for Employers
  • Lost Business Insurance Coverage

MN DEED Links on the: Web | Twitter | Facebook


US Treasury Moves Tax Day Back 3 Months to July 15, 2020

The deadline for filing tax returns will be postponed three months, to July 15 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced today.

He urged people expecting refunds to file “now to get your money.”

So far, about half of taxpayers have filed returns, IRS statistics show.

Several states have also pushed back their filing deadlines for state taxes INCLUDING MINNESOTA, click here for a release from MN Dept of Revenue.


Congress Passes & President Signs Emergency Paid Sick Leave Program & Extended FMLA For Businesses Under 500 Employees

  • President Donald Trump signed an emergency bill Wednesday to expand family and medical leave as well as guarantee paid sick leave for certain U.S. workers, including those employed by private entities or individuals who employ fewer than 500 employees, according to various media reports.
  • The U.S. Senate passed the bill, titled the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, by a 90-8 vote earlier in the day. It was first passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 14, and a revised version passed Tuesday.
  • The bill takes effect April 2, 2020, and it will sunset on Dec. 31, 2020.
  • The text of the bill is here.


News from MN Dept of Commerce

Click here for a article on:

  • Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19
  • What is business interruption insurance?
  • Is my business covered for interruptions due to COVID-19?

Minnesotans with questions or concerns about business interruption insurance may contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Consumer Services Center by calling (651) 539-1600. Please submit specific complaints regarding claims to our on-line portal.

Information on worker compensation, safety and health can be found at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

The Minnesota Attorney General’s website is also a good resource to understand potential business risk due to fraudulent activities.