Minnesota Cultural Mall Operator Grants
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will oversee the Cultural Mall Operator Grants Program as part of the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Walz on June 16, 2020.
This program made grants up to $250,000 to Minnesota-based operators (not tenants) of privately owned, permanent indoor retail space and food markets that have an ethnic cultural emphasis. A total of $2.5 million was available for grant awards.
Awards were disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by cultural mall operators must be used to make subgrants to existing tenants of the operator for maintaining existing tenants. At least 50% of the grant must be used to forgive the rent of existing tenants. In order to receive benefits through the operator grant, a tenant subgrantee must meet the same eligibility requirements as applicants for the Small Business Relief Grants Program.
The owner(s) of eligible facilities can apply for a grant through the Cultural Mall Operator Grants Program, NOT the Small Business Relief Grants Program. The tenants of eligible cultural mall facilities should NOT apply through the Cultural Mall Operator Grants Program.
Tenants of any permanent indoor retail space who meet all the other requirements of the Small Business Relief Grants Program are encouraged to apply for that program. However, eligible businesses can only receive one grant, either as a subgrantee through the Cultural Mall Operator Grants or as a grantee through the Small Business Relief Grants. (See FAQs.)
IF YOU ARE A TENANT OF A PERMANENT INDOOR RETAIL SPACE, DO NOT SUBMIT AN APPLICATION THROUGH THE CULTURAL MALL OPERATOR GRANT PROGRAM.