BIPARTISAN SMALL BUSINESS BILL PASSES HOUSE
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House passed a bill with strong bipartisan support to provide grants to small businesses who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill passed the House by a vote of 129-5 and is expected to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support later today.
The bill provides $60 million for small business grants, with $30 million for greater Minnesota and $30 million for the seven-county metro area. Rep. Kristin Robbins, R-Maple Grove, who first began working on a grant program for small businesses within two weeks of the Governor's Executive Order closing small businesses on March 16th, issued the following statement:
"When I first proposed this idea, it was intended to be a bridge to help small businesses survive what we expected would be a 30-day shut-down. Now, three-months later, it is too little, too late for many businesses across our state. Our businesses have worked hard to develop plans to safely reopen, they have spent money to implement these plans, and what they really need, at this point, is to be able to do so."
"Most small businesses run on very small margins and continue to struggle under the current restrictions that allowed reopening at 25% or 50% of capacity this week. The grants in this bill will hopefully enable many stay open long enough to be able to survive until they can fully reopen. I hope that day comes soon."