Greater Mankato Growth Blog

Small Business Grant Opportunity

small business fundTo extend a helping hand to small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund.

The Fund is providing $5,000 in one-time supplemental cash grants for businesses that have between three and 20 employees and operate in an economically vulnerable community. In our area, this includes the 56001, 56082, 56050, 56055, and 56037 zip codes. Unfortunately it excludes the 56003, 56063, 56024, and 56034 zip codes.

The grant application will go live on Monday, April 20 at 2:00 PM CDT. The application will take about 10 minutes to complete and will only require your business’s W-9 form and basic supporting information about your business.

To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund and to apply for a grant, visit

Up to $250,000 in Grants for Businesses Using Recycled Products

Can your business use recycled products? There may be up to $250,000 in grant funding available for you.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has just released an RFP for applications for the Recycling Market Development Grant. This grant is designed to help increase the demand for recycled goods by increasing the capacity of companies that perform further processing on those goods. This includes companies who perform intermediary processing of recycled goods as well as companies that use recycled goods as a component in their final product. Grant awards range from $50,000 to $250,000 and must be matched by a contribution of 25% of the total grant amount. This contribution can be made in staff time or as a cash contribution. This is a competitive grant with $400,000 available in total funding. While all users of recycled materials are encouraged to apply a preference of 10 points out of 100 is given to any companies creating an increased demand for mixed paper (54), glass, or organic material.

While it is important for any interested applicants to read all of the documents listed on the grant web page and the full RFP document, we have highlighted some key components of the grant below.

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Webinar: The CARES Act: What does it mean for Small Businesses?

The Small Business Development Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato is hosting a live webinar about opportunities for small businesses in the CARES Act. Register to attend here:

Who is Minnesota Valley Action Council and just what is it that they do?

This is a guest blog post by Ann Macgregor from Minnesota Valley Action Council.

You have driven by our offices on Victory Dr. so you have seen the name. You may have even heard from us when we contacted you to sponsor our fundraiser Warm Your Heart and yet you still have no idea who or what we are.

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Free Student Loan Counseling Will Expand with New Grant

This is a guest blog post from LSS Financial Counseling.

LSS Financial Counseling recently received a new grant to expand our student loan debt counseling service. With these new funds, we can support more Minnesotans who are facing challenges with their student loan repayment.

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Temporary Employment Opportunities

Greater Mankato Growth, in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, has launched an inventory of available temporary employment opportunities.

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UPDATED: Paycheck Protection Program

FromTheDomeOn March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This bill will provides significant support to businesses. The signature piece of the new law is the “Paycheck Protection Program” which will provide $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid COVID-19 and economic downturn. This new program provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency.  Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

UPDATED: Businesses will be able to apply for these forgivable loans starting April 3rd through most all local banks. The U.S. Treasury Department has issued preliminary guidance that you can view HEREYou can view the fully Treasury website on the program here.

In addition, our friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have prepared an easy-to-understand checklist to guide businesses and self-employed individuals through this new program as they prepare to file for a loan.

Response Requested: Staffing Increases for Essential Businesses

Greater Mankato Growth is working with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to assist in inventorying businesses that are adding temporary additional employees as a result of COVID-19. Please complete the linked survey for each position/job category you are adding as a direct result of COVID-19.

As surveys come in, the results will be published and viewable here. If you have any confidential staffing increases to be shared with DEED but not publicly, please email Ryan Vesey and John Considine with Greater Mankato Growth.

If you’re already working with a staffing agency, we encourage you to continue to utilize that resource for recruitment and payrolling support. Staffing agencies you already work with will be able to provide you with administrative assistance at the highest level.  If you are not already working with a staffing agency, and would like to use those resources for recruitment and payrolling support, a list of local agencies can be found in our business directory.

Unemployed due to COVID19? Critical Industries need your Help.

The guest blog below is from Jessica Miller, a Workforce Strategy Consultant with DEED for the South Central/Southwest region.

Are you a leisure and hospitality industry service provider whose job has been recently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Our health care industry needs you!

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UPDATED: Stimulus 3.0 – Federal CARES Act: Key Provisions Impacting Employers

FromTheDomeOn March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This is the third bill passed by Congress in response to COVID-19. This bill provides significant resources to businesses and individuals alike to weather this crisis. Greater Mankato Growth has compiled a summary of the key provisions in the bill impacting businesses – of which there are many. This may be overwhelming, but know that more resources will be coming soon to assist you as the law is implemented and Greater Mankato Growth will be there every step of the way to ensure you are kept informed with timely and accurate information.

You can also view excellent summaries done by the US Chamber of Commerce and US Senate Committee on Small Business & EntrepreneurshipRead More

Webinar: SBDC and GMG Review Business Resources

On Wednesday morning, March 25th, the Small Business Development Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato and Greater Mankato Growth reviewed the primary available resources for businesses to date.

The recorded video highlights the:

  1. SBA Disaster Loan,
  2. the Shared Worker program,
  3. and the MN DEED Small Business Emergency Loan

These 3 primary resources should be explored by businesses impacted by COVID 19. Below is a link the video:

Webinar: Small Business Economic Recovery and Financing Resources

chamber logoFrom our friends at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce: Small businesses are seeking critical resources – including financial resources – to help them stay “open for business” throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The Minnesota Chamber is here to help. We recorded a webinar moderated by Chamber president Doug Loon featuring experts on small business economic recovery. These experts presented a variety of financing solutions, including SBA disaster loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, state and federal aid, private lending options, and best practices to strengthen your balance sheet during economic uncertainty. Read More