Ramsey County Small Business Relief Fund

Ramsey County is providing emergency assistance to small local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Relief Fund will provide grants of up to $7500 to small businesses most in need of support.

Funds will help businesses pay for critical expenses such as rent or  mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers and costs associated with reopening. Providing this support will increase the capacity of small businesses with a physical location in Ramsey County to survive the current crisis and will help prevent potential future blight scenarios.

We understand there is a cost to reopening your business safely. This grant will help ensure that your business can afford to operate while maintaining the social distancing guidelines for the safety of your employees and customers.

The Relief Fund will be administered by the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers’ Open to Business program, which provides technical assistance and access to capital for businesses throughout Ramsey County. Priority outreach will be conducted in partnership with community-based organizations working in low-wealth communities, communities of color, and areas with barriers to access other small business resources.



  • Up to $7500 grant based on economic injury from COVID-19 and eligible expenses.

  • Funds can be used for operating expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers, or other critical non-payroll business expenses (including expenses related to reopening) as approved by the fund administrator.


Eligible Businesses

Businesses must meet all of the following criteria as of March 1, 2020, to be eligible. A business owner’s immigration status does not impact eligibility.

  • Must be a locally owned and operated for-profit business with a physical establishment in Ramsey County.
  • Must have at least one eligible employee as of March 1, 2020 and not more than 20 full-time
    employees, and under $1 million in annual revenue. Employees for the purposes of this grant program may be either W-2 employees, independent contractors or verified-family members supported by appropriate tax documentation.
  • Must have under $1 million in annual revenue.
  • Must have been operating for at least 12 months prior to March 1, 2020.
  • Must be licensed, in good standing, and current on property taxes prior to May 15, 2020, if applicable.
  • Must demonstrate a significant loss in revenue since March 15 (no credit score or collateral requirements apply).

Ineligible Businesses

Certain businesses are ineligible, including:

  • Home-based businesses; those without a physical establishment, (except in-home childcare providers will be eligible)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Corporate chains, multi-state chains
  • Individuals who have or are currently receiving assistance through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program or assistance from their municipality (i.e. Saint Paul Bridge Fund, Shoreview’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Program)
  • Businesses in default conditions prior to February 29, 2020
  • Businesses that primarily derive income from gambling
  • Businesses that derive any income from adult entertainment
  • Businesses that primarily sell pawned merchandise, guns, tobacco or vaping products
  • Businesses that derive income from passive investments; business-to-business transactions; real estate transactions; property rentals or property management; billboards; or lobbying

Technical Assistance Providers

The following organization are able to assist applicants in completing an application. 




African Development Center



Asian Economic Development Association



African Economic Development Solutions



Black Women’s Wealth Alliance


651-621-2758 or 612-256-0110

East Side Neighborhood Development Company



Hmong American Partnership



Latino Economic Development Center



Mni Sota Fund (serving American Indian businesses)



MN Black Chamber of Commerce



Urban Village (serving Karen and Karenni businesses)






Neighborhood Development Center