Types of Grants for Minnesota Businesses

farmer in a rural community using highspeed internet thanks to rural broadband grant

The great state of Minnesota has many things to boast about! Here are some of the fun facts about this midwestern state:

  • It is also known as the Gopher or North Star State.
  • Major industries in the state are agriculture, manufacturing, mining, bioscience and fishing.
  • There are 11,842 lakes in Minnesota that are more than 10 acres in size.
  • Water skis, the stapler, Scotch tape, Wheaties cereal, the automatic pop-up toaster, rollerblades and Snickers were all invented in Minnesota.

Minnesota also has a very nice selection of grant programs to encourage economic growth in the state.  Here is a snapshot of programs currently offered in Minnesota:

Food/Agriculture Programs

  • Agri Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant – The AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant (SustAg) supports innovative on-farm research and demonstrations. SustAg projects explore sustainable agriculture practices and systems that could make farming more profitable, resource efficient, or personally satisfying. Applications are expected to open in the fall of 2024, and up to $50,000 can be funded per project.
  • AGRI Value-Added Grant- The AGRI Value-Added Grant offers designated grants for value-added businesses (including bioenergy producers and hemp processors) to invest in equipment. The program is intended to increase sales of Minnesota agricultural products by investing in production capacity, market diversification, and market access for value-added products. For the purposes of this grant, “value-added” is defined as the addition of value to an agricultural product through processing. This grant is also expected to be offered later in 2024.
  • Food Export of the Midwest – Branded Program- The Branded Program provides 50% cost reimbursement for a wide variety of international marketing activities. This grant is offered on a rolling basis.
  • Make it Minnesota Marketing Investment Cost-Share Program- Our AGRI Make it Minnesota Marketing Investment Cost-Share Program can help your Minnesota-manufactured consumer packaged goods (CPG) food, beverage, or pet food company take advantage of growth opportunities through a variety of high-impact marketing activities. If grant funds remain through the end of FY24, the deadline will be July 9, 2024. The maximum grant available is $3,000.

Workforce Development Programs

  • Automation Training Incentive Program Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development- This program provides grants to small businesses for the purpose of training existing workers on new automation technology. This grant is offered on a rolling basis and offer up to $35,000 to fund these training programs.
  • Dual Training Grants Minnesota Office of Higher Education – The Dual Training Grant is a funding source that generates collaborative and strategic educational solutions between employers and related instruction training providers across Minnesota. Employers or organizations of employers may apply for grants to reimburse expenses related to instruction toward attaining an industry-recognized degree, certificate or credential for their employees. This grant is offered on a rolling basis and grantee can receive up to $150,000 for related instruction costs (up to $6,000 per trainee) and can also receive up to $15,000 for trainee support costs.
  • Job Training Incentive Program Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – This program provides grants to new or expanding businesses located in Greater Minnesota for the purposes of training workers as quickly and efficiently as possible. This grants is offered year round, and grantees can receive up to $200,000 in funding.
  • Low Income Worker Training Program Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – The Low Income Worker Training Program helps workers whose incomes are at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines gain new skills necessary to move up the career ladder to higher paying jobs and greater economic self-sufficiency.Proposals are due 4-6 weeks before each MJSP board meeting for which these grant applications are being accepted and grants of up to $200,000 are offered.
  • Pathways Program – The Pathways program focuses on providing training, new jobs and career paths for people who have incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines or those who are making a transition from public assistance to work. Proposals are due 4-6 weeks before each MJSP board meeting for which these grant applications are being accepted and grants of up to $400,000 are offered.
  • Partnership Program – Our main training grant option, the Partnership program, focuses on providing training for both new and existing employees of participating businesses throughout the state. Proposals are due 4-6 weeks before each MJSP board meeting for which these grant applications are being accepted and grants of up to $400,000 are offered.
  • SciTech Internship Program – SciTech connects college students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines with paid internships that provide rewarding hands-on experience in small to mid-sized Minnesota businesses. Companies receive assistance finding qualified candidates and a $1:$1 matching stipend to cover 50% of the intern’s wages (capped at $2,500) when they hire a student through SciTech. Grants are offered on a rolling basis.

Other Programs

  • Launch MN Business Operations Grant – Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants are targeted to the most promising innovative scalable technology businesses in Minnesota. Together, we’re working to help reduce the risk for Minnesota technology startups and entrepreneurs, who are solving problems and growing our state’s innovation ecosystem. Grants are accepted in June, November and April of each year and grants are up to $35,000.
  • Employer Reasonable Accommodation Fund- Pilot – The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Employer Reasonable Accommodation Fund (ERAF) creates a central fund where small to mid-sized Minnesota employers can request reimbursement for expenses related to providing reasonable accommodations for job applicants and employees with disabilities. The ERAF’s purpose is to encourage employment of people with disabilities by reducing any perceived or real financial barriers. This is a 2-year pilot program that runs through June 30, 2025. The total amount of funding is $4,000,000.
  • Job Creation Fund Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development –The Job Creation Fund provides financial incentives to new and expanding businesses that meet certain job creation and capital investment targets. $1,000-$5,000 in grants and up to a 5%-7.5% (dependent upon geographical area) rebate for real property improvements for businesses. This is offered year-round.
  • Launch MN Innovation Grants – The Innovation Grant reimburses business expenses, incurred in Minnesota, for research and development, direct business expenses (including wages of employees, but not salaries or wages of 20% or more owners of the business or their family members), and the purchase of technical assistance and services. Grant applications are accepted in April, June and November annually and grants of up to $35,000 are offered.
  • Safety Grant Program – The Safety Grant Program awards funds up to $10,000 to qualifying employers for projects designed to reduce the risk of injury and illness to their workers. Applications are accepted every two months starting in February annually.
  • STEP Grant Program Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – The STEP program provides financial and technical assistance to qualifying Minnesota small businesses with an active interest in exporting products or services to foreign markets. Small businesses may apply for reimbursement of up to $500 for export-training that will result in the development of an export strategy or up to $7,500 for approved export-development activities. Grants are offered on a rolling basis.

Please note that this is just a snapshot of what is available in the state of Minnesota at the time of the writing of this article.  To stay up on the grant landscape in Minnesota, other states, or at a federal level, please subscribe to the Manufacturing Grants Database, which is updated monthly to help manufacturers stay on the quickly changing manufacturing grants landscape.  Enter the code LAKE22 upon checkout to get a 20% reduction on the regular priced monthly subscription rate of $25 per month.

Scroll to Top