Small to mid-sized business owners and entrepreneurs in Minnesota can get financial help from loans and free grant programs. There are funds for disadvantaged businesses, including Black owned companies, veterans, the LGBTQ, women or Latino companies and others. Find where, and how, to apply for a grant or loan in Minnesota near you below.
The funds can come from the government, non-profits, corporate foundations, or the SBA among other groups. In addition to funding for your business, most of the programs also give the business owner (or entrepreneur) other support. It may be help with marketing, website development, free counseling or mentoring services. The aim is to help a small business grow or provide capital to owners that lack traditional source of lending, such as access to banks.
Anyone can apply for assistance. However, there are some loans as well as grants dedicated for minorities and women business owners in Minnesota. There is help for small businesses and startups for cities including Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, and all across Minnesota.
Minnesota small business loans and free grants for women or minorities
The list of financing programs below is updated daily. There may be loans for new or existing businesses, grants to help start a company or grow an existing one, as well as other small to mid sized business assistance. Any Minnesota resident can apply, but some funds or other resources will always be allocated for minorities (Black, Asian, Latino, LGBTQ) as well as other disadvantaged business owners, including women and veterans.
Year Round Resources
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development helps non-profits, if the non-profit assists disadvantaged businesses, across the state through loan programs as well as other support. There will be low cost or zero percent loans offered. If the non-profit has a goal of supporting women, Black, Veteran, immigrant or a minority business, then DEED can provide financial help to that non-profit. Learn more. https://mn.gov/deed/ed/
Red Letter Grant of Minnesota is a small non-profit agency that offers support to women owned businesses as well as entrepreneurs. There are a small number of grants as well as referrals to other financial resources. Women leaders in Minnesota also mentor business owners, offer guidance and free coaching, and other support. Get more details. https://www.redlettergrant.org/
St. Paul Minnesota Latino Economic Development Center offers a number of assistance programs to Latinos in the Twin Cities as well as business owners or entrepreneurs. Residents can get emergency financial aid for their bills. But the center also helps Latino business owners. They help Latino farmers, small business owners, and others. Get information on applying for loans, grants, CDFI lender programs and more. They also give referrals to statewide business resources to Latinos. Read more. https://www.ledcmn.org/
December 2020 and January 2021
The Midway Fund is for businesses in St. Paul that were impacted by Social Justice issues in 2020. Many inner city businesses, most of which were minority owned, can get a $2500 grant (as funding allows). It is also for pandemic related issues. Many minority owned restaurants, service industries, hotels, and related businesses can get help. Learn more. http://www.midwaychamber.com/we-love-midway
Businesses in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis or St. Paul) that have a health focus can apply for free grants from the American Heart Association as well as the Social Impact Fund. There will also be some of those grants allocated to women, minority, and disadvantaged businesses. Both non-profit as well as for-profits can apply – as long as they focus on addressing health disparities in the region. There is also training, MBA type workshops and more. Apply here. http://heart.org/fund
October – November 2020
Rebuild&HealMN’s is a local non-profit in the twin cities of Minneapolis – St. Paul. The focus on helping disadvantaged small businesses, including Black, Latino, LGBTQ, Veteran, Women and others. There will be financial assistance given to help small business owners recover from both Floyd riots as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. The non-profit also help the diverse immigrant population in the Twin Cities get established. Loans, grants, counseling and other assistance; apply here. https://www.rebuildandhealmn.org/
Blaine and Spring Lake Park are both providing $500,000 in grants to small businesses. The funds are issued in partnership with the Blaine Community Development as well as Spring Lake Park City Council. Funds are for all businesses, inclusion retailers, restaurants, and other companies with some free grants allocated to minority as well as women owned companies. Blaine residents call 763-784-6700 with questions. Spring Lake residents can dial 763-784-6491 for applications or information.
Olmsted County businesses can get financial help. Up to $25,000 can be provided by the Olmsted County and Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI). Priority of this grant program will be given to minority, veteran and women-owned businesses or the disadvantaged. There is also support for businesses with six or fewer employees. http://www.raedi.com/doing-business-here/cares-act.php
By Jon McNamara