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Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants

Central Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants

Playing Our Part: Foundation, DEED Partner to Distribute Main Street COVID Relief Grants

Nearly 1,000 Central Minnesota Small Businesses Selected to Receive Grant Relief

The Initiative Foundation is proud to partner with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in the distribution of Main Street COVID Relief Grants in Central Minnesota.

If you recently were notified by DEED that you have been randomly selected to receive a state grant, congratulations! More than 18,000 applications were received during an open application period in September for the $64.2 million statewide program to help entrepreneurs manage through the disruptions of the pandemic. About one-third of all applicants—roughly 6,000 small businesses across the state—were selected lottery style to receive grant awards, including 989 small businesses in Central Minnesota.

So what happens next?

Once the Initiative Foundation receives its list of randomly selected Central Minnesota applicants from DEED, you will received an email message from our grants management platform, which is powered by Foundant. Automated emails will come from administrator(at)grantinterface.com. The first email you will receive will include information to complete your account set up with the Initiative Foundation. Please add this email address to your safe senders list so it doesn't get flagged as spam or phishing.

Subsequent emails will be sent when follow-up documentation is due, including a W-9 and a financial form outlining your intended uses for the grant. 

To learn more about Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants, visit the frequently asked questions page on the DEED website. To contact an Initiative Foundation staff member about its grant administration role in partnership with DEED, send an email to relief_grants(at)ifound.org.

How quickly do you plan to get grants out?

Our team will be working as quickly as we can to verify applicants and disburse the grants over the coming months. We urge small-business owners selected for these grants to be patient, and to respond as quickly as you're able if we have questions or need additional documents to verify your eligibility. 

What if I applied but wasn't selected?

DEED has notified all applicants of their status. If you were not selected, please continue to monitor your email in the coming months. Some applicants may turn out to be ineligible, at which point DEED will select new businesses to receive grants.

What is the Initiative Foundation's role?

We are one of about a dozen reviewers and distributors of grant funds. Working on behalf of DEED, which is managing this program, our focus is small businesses in Central Minnesota. Our role is to review each selected application to ensure the small business is eligible, and to then provide the grant funds.

What is this program? Can I apply now?

This is a state program designed to provide grants to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The first round of grants were distributed in 2020; the Minnesota Legislature in 2021 approved this second round of funding. Businesses completed applications in September and were selected by DEED using a lottery system. The application is now closed and there are no future plans for additional funds.

If you are contacted and are asked for personally identifying information (banking information, etc.) or to pay a fee during any stage in the grant verification process, please consider it a red flag. There are no fees being assessed in the administration of the Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grants program by the Initiative Foundation or DEED. Please note, too, that we will not be requesting any bank routing information. All grant awards, once verified, will be paid by check and will be delivered through the U.S. Postal Service.