More companies would be able to take advantage of the state’s small business growth acceleration program, under a bill approved April 28 by the House Finance Committee.
HF1081, sponsored by Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul), would expand eligibility criteria for the program, which helps small manufacturing companies grow by providing grants for technology and business improvements that they otherwise couldn’t afford.
Currently the program is open to businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees. The bill would expand the program to include companies with up to 250 employees and set up a three-tiered system of matching contribution requirements as follows:
• companies with fewer than 50 employees must contribute $1 for every $3 of grant assistance;
• companies with 50 to 100 employees must contribute $1 for every $1 of grant assistance; and
• companies with 101 to 250 employees must contribute $3 for every $1 of grant assistance.
Mahoney said the program has proven to be a major boon to participating companies, and that the state has seen a return of $15 of economic activity generated for every $1 invested in the program.
The bill now awaits action by the full House. Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) sponsors the companion, SF698, which has been laid over by the Senate Economic Development and Housing Budget Division.
The bill is also included as part of the omnibus economic development finance bill, HF1169/SF2081*, sponsored by Tomassoni and Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia). The bill includes $750,000 for the program.