The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has opened the 10-day application period for the new Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program.

The program will disburse more than $60 million in grants of $10,000 to small businesses across the state that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the department announced a news release on Thursday, June 25.

This program was approved by the Minnesota Legislature on June 12 and signed by Gov. Tim Walz on June 16. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. Thursday, July 2.

Small-business owners who have experienced hardship because of COVID-19 should review the eligibility criteria and, if qualified, may apply.

Eligibility information, frequently asked questions, upcoming webinars and the online application form can be found on the DEED website. Translations of program information and application questions also are in Español, Hmoob and Somali.

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Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funds will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, according to the department.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota.