Redpath Insights

Minnesota Economic Assistance Package Available for Some Businesses

by Jared Weiskopf, CPA

December 18, 2020 - On December 16, 2020, Governor Walz signed a COVID-19 economic assistance package into law that provides business assistance grants for certain businesses operating in Minnesota that were closed to the public due to Executive Order 20-99. The intent is to get the money out to qualified businesses as soon as possible, but no later than March 15, 2021.

The business assistance grants are broken into three groups: 1) eating and drinking establishments, bowling alleys, and gyms/fitness centers ($88 million); 2) movie theaters and convention centers ($14 million); and 3) county grants for other affected businesses ($114.8 million).

Group 1 โ€“ Eating and Drinking Establishments, Bowling Alleys, and Gyms/Fitness Centers

Types of qualifying businesses โ€“ Must be listed as a business maintained by the commissioner of employment and economic development with a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code of:

  • 31212 โ€“ Breweries;
  • 31213 โ€“ Wineries;
  • 31214 โ€“ Distilleries
  • 71394 โ€“ Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers;
  • 71395 โ€“ Bowling Centers;
  • 7223 โ€“ Specialty Foods;
  • 7224 โ€“ Drinking Places (Alcoholic beverages); and
  • 7225 โ€“ Restaurants

Qualified business criteria:

  • Operates from a physical location in Minnesota
  • Was closed to the public due to Executive Order 20-99
  • At least $10,000 of taxable gross receipts in 2019
  • At least a 30% drop in taxable gross receipts from April 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020, compared to April 1, 2019, through September 30, 2019
  • In good standing with the Minnesota Department of Revenue

Grants based on the number of employees:

No employees                                     $10,000

1-20 employees                                  $15,000

21-100 employees                              $25,000

101-300 employees                            $35,000

Over 300 employees                          $45,000

Group 2 โ€“ Movie Theaters and Convention Center Grants

Types of qualifying businesses

  • Movie theaters available to the general public with at least one permanent indoor auditorium for the viewing of non-adult-oriented films
  • Multipurpose convention center with a capacity of 1,500 or more that is not part of a hotel, university, or retail mall, and is not primarily a music venue or theater

Qualified business criteria

  • Operates from a physical location in Minnesota
  • Was closed to the public due to Executive Order 20-99
  • At least a 30% drop in taxable gross receipts from April 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020, compared to April 1, 2019, through September 30, 2019
  • In good standing with the Minnesota Department of Revenue

Movie theater grants

  • First two screens - $15,000 per screen
  • Additional screens - $10,000 per screen
  • Maximum of $150,000 per theater
  • Must be used for operating expenses

Convention center grants

The grants are based on the size of both the venue and its workforce, with a maximum grant of $500,000 per convention center. The grant money must be used for operating expenses and upkeep.

Group 3 โ€“ County Relief Grants to Local Businesses

Each county will be issued a minimum of $256,250, or a per capita amount determined according to population. The county will use the funds to make grants to individual businesses and nonprofits as they decide with no minimums or maximums. Businesses that donโ€™t qualify under group 1 or 2 may still qualify under group 3.

Qualified business criteria

  • Operates from a physical location in the county or adjacent tribal land
  • Have no current tax liens on record with the Secretary of State
  • Was closed to the public due to Executive Order 20-99

The grants must be awarded by March 15, 2021, and used for operating expenses.

Companies that meet the criteria for group 1 will automatically receive a check.  Group 2 is less clear, but they will also likely automatically receive a check if they qualify.  For group 3, the county makes the determination of who receives the grant and how much they receive, so businesses should contact their county to determine the steps needed to qualify for the grant. 

Jared Weiskopf, CPA

Jared Weiskopf, CPA

Jared Weiskopf is a partner in the business tax service area and is the state and local taxation service area leader. He assists clients with corporate and partnership tax preparation, tax planning and research, and works with a variety of clients in industries such as manufacturing and professional services. Jared has provided public accounting services at Redpath and Company since 1997.