COVID-19 Resources + Updates

COVID-19 continues to impact cashflows and pose challenges for many businesses and nonprofits. We want to share resources to help you make sense of the opportunities available to you and offer our help. Below are federal, state, county, community specific and Entrepreneur Fund loan and grant opportunities. To the right you can view additional resources and COVID-19 specific updates. 

Have questions? Please reach out. We are here to help! Simply click here to send us an inquiry form. 

COVID-19 Relief Grants and Loans Updated March 22, 2021

Federal Programs

"Second Draw" Payroll Protection Program: A Second Draw PPP loan for certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan, generally have 300 employees or less, and have suffered a 25% reduction in gross receipts. Check out our PPP Resource Hub! 

Timeline Eligibility  How to Apply Terms

Applications open January 14. Deadline is March 31. 

  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

If you have an account at a community bank, ask if they will be taking applications for PPP loans during this round. The Entrepreneur Fund is a PPP lender, click here for more information and to get in contact. 

SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.


SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Grant: The EIDL grant is a form of small business relief providing up to $10,000 dollars in grants, i.e., completely free and non-repayable money, to select small businesses. The grant program was part of the initial CARES Act in 2020, but funds were exhausted within months. In December, Congress allocated additional funds for the program.

Timeline Eligibility  How to Apply Terms

SBA hopes to be accepting applications on or around January 17, 2021.

  • Business was in operation prior to January 31, 2020
  • Business has less than 300 employees
  • Business is located in a low-income community,
  • Business suffered at least a 30% reduction in gross receipts during any 8-week period between March 2, 2020 – December 31, 2021 compared to a comparable 8-week period before March 2 or in 2019.

Apply Online 

Learn more 


SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Timeline Eligibility  How to Apply Terms


Small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states. 

Apply Online 

  • 3.75% for businesses (fixed)
  • 2.75% for nonprofits (fixed)
  • 30 years
  • No pre-payment penalty or fees

Shuttered Venue Operators Grants: Under this program, administered by the SBA, live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, or live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives will be eligible to receive grants (a grant) of up to $10 million to pay certain costs. More information to be shared soon. Learn about developments here

State Programs

MN Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program: (Business Loans)These loans are for existing small businesses that have an essential employee called to active service in the military reserves for 180 days or longer, causing a substantial economic injury to the business due to the employee's absence. (Start Up Business Loans) These loans are for recently service separated veterans seeking financial assistance to start their own small businesses.

Timeline Eligibility How to Apply Terms
Applications are accepted and loans disbursed until all funds are committed.  See Eligibility Requirements Apply Online One-time, interest-free loans of $5,000 - $20,000. The loan terms are 54 months, with no repayment for the first 18 months and equal monthly payments over the remaining 36 months.

Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program: These loans can be used for a variety of purposes and can be subordinate to other financing. Allowable loan uses must be exclusively in Minnesota and include machinery or equipment purchases, maintenance, or repair; expenses related to moving into or within Minnesota; and working capital when the working capital is secured by fixed assets when possible. The program will provide an 80% guarantee up to a maximum of $200,000. A fee of .25 percent on the guarantee loan principal will be charged for each loan enrolled into the program.

Timeline Eligibility   How to Apply  Terms


Minnesota businesses with fewer than the equivalent of 250 employees. The number of employees includes parent company and all locations.

Loans are made by enrolled lenders. List of enrolled lenders can be found here.

The Entrepreneur Fund is an enrolled lender. 

The rate, term, and collateral requirements will be set by each individual lender's policies.

DEED Workforce Grants: The Partnership Program Partnership program, focuses on providing training for both new and existing employees of participating businesses throughout the state. Minnesota participating businesses must partner with an accredited Minnesota educational institution. Grants of up to $400,000 are awarded to the educational institution to develop and deliver custom training specific to business needs. A cash or in-kind contribution from the participating business must match the grant funds on at least a one-to-one basis. Learn more. 

DEED Pathways Grant: The Pathways program focuses on providing training, new jobs and career paths for people who have incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines or those who are making a transition from public assistance to work. Projects must include at least one participating business and an accredited Minnesota educational institution or training provider. Grants of up to $400,000 per project may be awarded to develop and deliver training specific to business needs. Cash or in-kind contributions from the participating business(es) must match program funds on at least a one-half to one ratio. Learn more. 

Community Specific COVID-19 Grants

Stearns County Business and Non-Profit Relief Program: Businesses and non-profits in Stearns County are continuing to see the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the State and County want to help. Stearns County will be receiving approximately $3 million to grant to businesses and non-profits, based on certain eligibility criteria.

Location Timeline Eligibility Terms & How to Apply

Stearns County, MN

Applications open Monday, January 11 and will be remain open until all funds are distributed. 

Located in Stearns County and able to demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. 

Program Guidelines

Grants up to $15,000

Apply Here

Community Specific Loan Programs

Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) Revolving Loan Fund: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ARDC has introduced a new RLF that provides aid for businesses directly impacted by the pandemic. The new program can fund all types of businesses, including industrial, commercial, retail, restaurants, and non-profits. Learn more. 

Location  Timeline Eligibility  How to Apply & Terms

Minnesota Counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis

Applications accepted on a rolling basis. 

The Urgent Application is designed for businesses that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. This application is only for those businesses seeking working capital loans of $75,000 or less.

The RLF Pre-Application is designed for businesses seeking financing for site improvements, expansions, and machinery purchases. These loans are offered at a 4% interest rate, and a bank turn down will be required. 

Terms depend on Urgent Application or Pre-Application.

Visit ARDC website to learn more and apply. 

Taconite Area Business Relief Program: Provides funds to local businesses that have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the form of low interest loans. The Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation (IRRR) has contracted with the Entrepreneur Fund to review, process, and close the loan applications. IRRR will have final approval of all loans. Funds are intended to provide working capital to businesses, however, any legal business purpose is eligible. Learn more. 

Location  Timeline Eligibility Terms & How to Apply

IRRRB service area. 

View service map here.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis. 

  • That have been in operation for at least one year and were operating on March 1, 2020.
  • All businesses must intend to open if currently closed in order to be eligible.
  • Businesses must be actively managed and loans must be personally guaranteed by primary owners.
  • A blanket UCC finance statement must be filed.
  • The maximum loan amount to a business is equal to three months operating expenses, up to $40,000.
  • Maximum loans will be 60 months, after a six-month deferment period (accrued interest will be due at the end of the deferment period).
  • 2% interest rate

Apply Online. 

Itasca Small Business Relief Fund: The purpose of this fund is to prevent permanent closure of Itasca County businesses during and after the pandemic and to restore affected businesses back to financial health as quickly as possible. Learn more.

Location  Timeline Eligibility  Terms & How to Apply 

Itasca County, Minnesota

Applications accepted on a rolling basis. 

  • Business affected by the COVID-19 virus (all businesses; not only those included in the executive order)
  • Be current on financial obligations as of March 1st, 2020
  • Be an existing small business
  • Must apply for SBA Disaster Loan Fund as well as the ISBRF"
  • Initial 6 month deferral period for principal.
  • 10 year amortization with a
  • 5 year balloon
  • 0% interest rate

Submit an Inquiry Form to get started with an application. 

Cloquet Business Assistance Loan: This program was developed by the Cloquet EDA for qualifying small businesses located within the city limits of Cloquet and within commercial /office/industrial buildings in response to challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this fund is to prevent permanent closure of City of Cloquet for-profit businesses during and after the COVID19 pandemic and restore affected businesses back to financial health as quickly as possible. Learn more.

Location Timeline Eligibility Terms & How to Apply 

Cloquet, Minnesota

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

For-profit, locally owned business located within the municipal city limits of Cloquet and located within commercial, office or industrial property.

  • Up to $20,000 working capital/inventory loan
  • Initial 6-month deferral of principal and interest payments
  • 5-year term
  • 2% interest rate

Apply Online. 

East Range Joint Powers Board Disaster Relief Loan Fund: The East Range Joint Powers Board (ERJPB) has received funding through the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation’s Taconite Area Community Relief Grant Program to create a loan fund to provide financing to for-profit businesses within the ERJPB communities of Aurora, Biwabik, Hoyt Lakes, and the Town of White.

Location Timeline Eligibility Terms & How to Apply
Aurora, Biwabik, Hoyt Lakes, and the Town of White. The program ends on May 1, 2021.  View Eligibility Requirements

$20,000 - $50,000 loan. 


Chisholm EDA COVID-19 Relief 0% Loan: Chisholm EDA is offering a 0% loan to assist Chisholm businesses with expenses incurred due to COVID-19, businesses that would like to expand or upgrade, or new businesses locating in Chisholm. 

Location  Timeline Eligibility & How to Apply Terms 
Chisholm, MN Funding is limited.  View Eligibility + Application $3,000 - $30,000, 0% interest, loan payment deferred 6 months, 5 year term

Additional Funding and Services through the Entrepreneur Fund

SBA Micro Loan through the Entrepreneur Fund:

  •  These are loans up to $50,000 with a 8 year term at a fixed interest.
  • Microloans can be used for working capital, inventory or supplies, furniture or fixtures, machinery or equipment.
  • You will receive 3rd party professional technical assistance grants allowing your business the best chances for success.
  • You will be assigned a professional team of financial experts to support you in reaching your goals.

SBA Express Loan through the Entrepreneur Fund:

  • These loans are up to $1,000,000 with a 10 year term at a fixed interest rate.
  • Express loans can be used for working capital, purchasing real estate, equipment, furniture, machinery, supplies, and materials, covering construction and/or renovation costs, establishing or acquiring a new business, or expanding an existing business.
  • Expedited turnaround time for a faster decision.
  • You will be assigned a professional team of financial experts to support you in reaching your goals.

To learn more about these loans through the Entrepreneur Fund, please complete an Inquiry Form and our team will follow up with you. 

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