COVID-19 Information and Resources for Businesses

Below are a resources available for Apple Valley Businesses in response to COVID-19. Many of these resources are being updated daily. Open To Business continues to provide free advice for the best sources of emergency funding for your specific business. The Open To Business Dakota County contact information is below.

Tyler Hilsabeck Open to Business - Business Advisor

 612-789-8838 (work) 312-402-6954 (cell)

Small Business Relief Grants Program to Begin Accepting Applications on June 23

More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – will begin accepting applications next week.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

“Small businesses across our state urgently need this relief,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED applauds the bipartisan action to pass this legislation, and we are grateful to Governor Walz for signing the bill quickly so we could immediately get this grant program up and running.”

The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

DEED announces partnership with Coursera to provide free online learning content to Minnesotans

St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced today a new partnership with Coursera, the leading online learning platform that offers courses from 200 top universities and businesses around the world, including more than 60 courses from the University of Minnesota. This partnership is made possible by the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative.

DEED will work directly with Coursera to create accounts for Minnesotans and provide immediate access to online courses. Learners in Minnesota who choose to sign up for Coursera will need to complete their registration before September 30, 2020. Thanks to additional support from the state government of Minnesota, learners will have full access to training through March 2021.

Any Minnesotan who has applied for unemployment insurance in 2020 and already has an account on will receive an invitation to sign up for Coursera; other Minnesotans who are interested may also provide their name and contact information at to receive access.

“Providing access to free online courses is an important way that DEED is rethinking our service delivery in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Whether you’re out of work or considering a career shift, this partnership with Coursera provides a unique and timely opportunity to earn certifications in high-demand jobs and industries at no additional cost.”

“DEED is focused on supporting our communities; creating hiring ecosystems that leverage the full capabilities of government agencies, educational providers and employers; and building pathways for meaningful employment,” added DEED Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development Hamse Warfa. “This important partnership with Coursera will help Minnesotans develop in-demand skills and strengthen the resilience of our state’s workforce.”

Through this initiative, learners will have access to 3,800 courses on Coursera that cover job-relevant skills in business, technology, and data science as well as courses related to professional and personal development. These include Professional Certificates from companies like IBM, Google, and Cisco that are aimed at helping prepare people for entry-level careers in fields like IT. Other in-demand industries with relevant upskilling content on the platform include construction, manufacturing, and health care. The platform is mobile-friendly, available in multiple languages, and provides extensive back-end support to ensure accessibility on any device. For learners without regular internet access at home, the courses can also be downloaded and accessed offline.

“The pandemic has affected millions of workers in the United States, including many hard-working Minnesotans,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. “Coursera is honored to partner with the state of Minnesota to equip workers with job-relevant skills taught by leading educators like the University of Minnesota.”

Full access to the Coursera platform typically costs individual learners $400 annually. This initiative will allow those costs to be waived for any Minnesotans that want to utilize the platform, including the cost of earning certifications and industry-recognized credentials. Minnesotans interested in extending their Coursera access after March 2021 will have an option to pay for additional access.

Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program Resumes Monday, April 27

 The Paycheck Protection Program(PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. Currently, Minnesota is number three in the nation for the number of PPP loans recieved per capita. 

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.

To apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, or find a participating lender, click here.

#StayHomeMN Frequently Asked Questions

A FAQ for Minnesota Businesses on Governor’s Waltz’s executive order 20-20.

Guidance on Stay at Home Order for Businesses Including Critical Sector Worker Exceptions

Resources for businesses to understand "Critical Sector Worker Exceptions" and "Critical Business List"

Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) now offers the Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program. This temporary program, established in response to the 2020 public health emergency, will help Minnesota lenders provide capital to small businesses in Minnesota affected by COVID-19. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Employers and Businesses

Includes information on unemployment insurance, additional loans and financing options,  and guidance on how to manage and avoid layoffs. 

Federal SBA Disaster Loans and Emergency Grants (COVID-19)

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a low-interest federal disaster loans and a one-time emergency grant of up to $10,000 for working capital to small businesses and private non-profits suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

SBA Disaster Loans for Minnesota Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Two SBA emergency capital programs are available today and more will be coming soon:

  • Low interest, long term Economic Injury Disaster Loans for up to $2 million: The first payment is deferred for 12 months. The application has been simplified and can be completed 100% online through our improved web portal at
  •  Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance for up to $10,000: The form to apply is part of the economic injury disaster loan application. If approved, these funds can be used for payroll and other operating expenses and will be forgiven. This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.