Governor Walz directs $67.3 million to businesses impacted by COVID-19 closures

Governor Tim Walz today announced the Minnesota Department of Revenue has issued $67.3 million in COVID-19 Business Relief Payments to 3,891 eligible businesses in Minnesota. The relief payments were part of bipartisan legislation passed by lawmakers and signed into law by Governor Tim Walz in December to help restaurants, bars, gyms, and bowling centers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation also provides relief options to movie theaters and convention centers, as well as direct funding to all of Minnesota’s 87 counties to set up local grant relief programs.

“This relief comes at a crucial time for our businesses who continue to make enormous sacrifices for the health and safety of Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “This is a critical lifeline for those businesses and for the Minnesotans whose livelihoods depend on them.”

“Thanks to the hard work of Revenue employees, much-needed aid has been distributed throughout Minnesota, supporting our small business communities and working families as we continue to work together to control this virus,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.

“These payments will give some relief to Minnesota businesses we know are hurting due to the pandemic,” said Revenue Commissioner Robert Doty. “Revenue employees worked diligently to set up this program to determine eligibility and get checks issued quickly to these businesses.”

The department used sales tax filings to determine which businesses were eligible for the direct relief payments under the legislation. The checks have been mailed to eligible businesses, and business owners can expect to receive them in the coming days. The department cannot release a list of businesses receiving a payment because they are a direct payment sent to business owners based on private, non-public tax data.

Eligible businesses must meet the program requirements outlined in the legislation. Direct payment requirements for businesses include:

  • Being located in Minnesota
  • Had at least $10,000 in taxable sales in 2019
  • Filed Sales Tax returns in 2019 and 2020
  • Experienced a 30% drop in year-over-year taxable sales for April-September periods
  • Being categorized by the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance program as a restaurant, bar, gym, bowling center, or similar business

Businesses that did not receive a COVID-19 Business Relief Payment but think they meet the program criteria can contact the department. An online inquiry process will be available beginning Tuesday, January 19, and will remain open through Friday, February 5. An additional round of payments will be made after that date for business that qualify. Businesses can visit and click “COVID-19 Business Relief Payments” found on the homepage.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has relief application information for movie theaters and convention centers, as well as information for counties that will be distributing additional relief payments to businesses.