The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has awarded awarded of $4.6 million in Convention Center Relief Grants and $8.54 million in Movie Theater Relief Grants to facilities across the state.

The grants were part of a $216 million economic relief package signed into law by Gov.Tim Walz in December, DEED said in a news release recently. The package included a $14 million appropriation for grants to movie theaters and convention centers in Minnesota impacted by COVID-19.

“Convention centers and movie theatres are an important part of our economy that has been severely impacted by COVID-19,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said on a statement announcing the grants. “The state and our team at DEED have worked hard to award these grants quickly to help these venues weather the pandemic and bounce back during Minnesota’s economic recovery.”

Fifteen convention centers that met the eligibility requirements were awarded grants ranging from $38,000 to $500,000. Of these, eight are located in Greater Minnesota and received a total of $2.3 million in grants; seven are in the Twin Cities and received $2.2 million.

According to DEED, 73 movie theater owners – with a total of 790 screens in 118 locations across the state – met the eligibility requirements and were awarded grants ranging from $10,000 to $1.12 million.

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Of these, 78 locations (with 411 screens) are in Greater Minnesota and received a total of $4.7 million; 40 locations (with 379 screens) are in the Twin Cities and received $3.83 million. Awardees must spend the entire award on theaters located in Minnesota, and the formula for award amounts was established in statute.