Businesses get assistance from the Legislature

The Legislature approved and Governor Walz signed into law a bill that provided $216 million in relief to businesses in December 2020. The money was divided into three areas: business relief payments ($88 million), movie theater and conventions center grants ($14 million), and county relief grants ($114.8 million).  

  • Business relief payments ($88 million) The first distribution of business relief payments (3,893 checks totaling $67,320,000 million) should be arriving in the mail for qualifying businesses in mid-January. Qualifying businesses generally include restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, gyms, and bowling centers that saw a 30% reduction in business as a result of COVID-19. Businesses did not need to take action to receive these payments, the Department of Revenue used information on file.
  • Movie theaters ($14 million) Grants are available for application for convention centers with a seating capacity of over 1,500, and movie theaters. A per screen formula is used in determining the allocation for movie theaters while there are several criteria for convention centers.  
  • County relief grants ($114.8 million) The largest pot of money was given to counties to distribute to businesses and nonprofits in their communities impacted by the pandemic. Counties were given a lot of discretion in how the funds would be deployed in the communities encompassed within their borders. The money for counties was allocated based on $200,000 or a per capita population formula, whichever is greater. To see how/when funding will be allocated contact your county.
  • Federal assistance In December, the federal government passed a second package that provided additional assistance for businesses. Information on the availability of federal assistance can be found on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website.