St. Louis County is preparing to launch a third round of COVID relief assistance for small businesses and eligible non-profits hurt by the pandemic. The application period is expected to begin in mid-January for Phase 3 of St. Louis County Small Business Relief Grants. This latest round of grants will use funds provided by the State of Minnesota, and offers more flexibility than previous CARES-funded grants.

Businesses will be able to apply for up to $45,000, with funds able to be used for direct COVID-19 related expenses, such as PPE and cleaning supplies; as well as operating expenses including, rent, mortgage, utilities, real estate taxes and insurance; and even for payroll.

To be eligible, businesses and non-profits must be physically located in St. Louis County, have no current tax liens on record with the Secretary of State at the time of application; and must have been impacted by a Minnesota Executive Order related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Louis County has received $3.8 million from the state to distribute to small businesses and non-profits during this third phase. More details will be provided as they are finalized, including application dates and opportunities to participate in a virtual presentation about the grant program and application instructions.

People interested in learning more are encouraged to contact the St. Louis County Planning and Community Development Department at or 218-725-5000 to be added to an email list for future updates. Anyone who’s already receiving emails because of the first two phases of CARES Act grants does not need to request again to be added to the list.

“We are so thankful to our legislative delegation for their strong support of our local small businesses and non-profits,” said County Board Chair Mike Jugovich. “We are working quickly to distribute these funds to our business community. I continue to see people working so hard while confronting extreme challenges brought on by this pandemic.”

Earlier, using federal CARES Act funds, the County successfully distributed $6.2 million to small businesses, $2.8 million to community organizations, and $1.8 million to school districts within St. Louis County.