Gov. Tim Walz has proclaimed this week as Small Business Week in Minnesota. This is in partnership with the Small Business Administration, which for more than 50 years has celebrated National Small Business week. Here in Minnesota, 46% of workers are employed by small businesses, which account for 1.3 million jobs.

From Sept, 13-15, DEED Commissioner Steve Grove will visiting small businesses to celebrate their contributions to their communities and the SBA will host a three-day virtual summit with numerous educational panels providing innovative practices for entrepreneurs.

“Here in Minnesota, new small businesses are more likely to be thriving at five years than anywhere else in the country,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “At Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development, we are working hard to support small businesses whether they are launching the next new medical device start up or have been a community staple for decades.”

Our Minnesota Small Business Development Center Network — our nine regional centers and 25 satellite centers — are dedicated to bringing new skills and technology to help support our businesses and grow our state’s economy. Minnesota’s statewide network of SBDCs provide professional expertise and guidance that every small business owner needs to thrive in a competitive and ever-changing business world.

Besides celebrating National Small Business Week, this year, Minnesota’s SBDCs are celebrating 42 years of helping entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses. Since 1980, more than 5,300 Minnesota businesses have been created, more than 145,000 jobs have been created or saved, and over 970,000 hours of consulting services have been provided to Minnesotans.

Our SBDCs work closely with other DEED initiatives such as Launch Minnesota, our statewide collaborative effort to accelerate innovative Minnesota startups, to help small businesses grow.

On Monday, DEED will begin accepting applications for its newest program, the Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program . A total of $64.2 million is available in grants for Minnesotan-owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that are majority-owned by military veterans, women, and Black, Indigenous and people of color individuals; employ 6 people or fewer; and/or did not receive previous assistance from other state relief programs will be prioritized in the selection process. Funding will be distributed in a 50/50 split between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota.

An informational session to learn more about the grants is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20. Find the session online at bit.ly/3k7mHCH.

Many of DEED’s programs, grants, loans and tax credits work together to help support our state’s small businesses:

• Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants target the most promising, innovative and scalable technology businesses. The grants support Minnesota technology startups and entrepreneurs, who are solving problems and growing our state’s innovation ecosystem.

• The Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program supports the growth of businesses owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities. DEED provides grant funds to a network of nonprofit lenders which use these funds for loans to start-up and expanding businesses throughout the state. The program also provides jobs for minority and/or low-income persons, creating and strengthening minority business enterprises, and promoting economic development in low-income areas.

• Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit helps stimulate private investment in emerging businesses and encourages job creation from tax incentives to investors or funds that invest in startup businesses that are focused on high technology or new proprietary technology.

Find more info on Launch Minnesota and other DEED programs supporting small businesses at mn.gov/launchmn/capital/additional.

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