Gov. Walz, state leaders highlight $10M investment in small businesses

Governor Walz and state leaders met on Tuesday afternoon to highlight a multi-million dollar investment in small businesses.

“Small businesses are foundational to Minnesota’s economic ecosystem – they’re at the heart of our communities, our workforce, and our state’s economy,” Governor Walz said in a statement. “This program will make it easier for small businesses to access loans that are critical for their growth and long-term success and help us build a thriving state economy.”

The $10 million investment aims to support and grow small businesses through low-interest loans eligible to nonprofit lenders to use for loans to small businesses, according to Gov. Walz.

“Small businesses drive economic growth, create jobs, and build community across the state. We’re committed to their growth and success,” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan added in the statement. “From helping entrepreneurs access low-interest loans to start their businesses to providing paid family and medical leave to help small businesses support and retain workers, we’ll continue working alongside business owners and entrepreneurs to build a diverse and vibrant small business ecosystem.”

DEED is now accepting applications from non-profit lenders interested in participating in the Expanding Opportunity Fund. According to DEED, lenders can receive up to $600,000 at one time to provide low-interest loans to the small business owners they serve. 

At 1 p.m., Gov. Walz was joined at the Capitol by Lt. Gov. Flanagan; Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Kevin McKinnon; Coffee House Press Interim Executive Director Linda Ewing; and Amy Abebe Tsegaye and Dereje Wudmatas, co-owners of Erta Ale Ethiopian.