Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program

The application period closed on September 11, 2020.  We are no longer accepting applications.

Program overview 

The City of Hopkins has established a Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program (SBEAL) to provide forgivable, no-interest loans of up to $5,000 to assist eligible small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The purpose of the SBEAL Program is to provide working capital to assist local small businesses to sustain operations, preserve employment and prevent business closure in order to promote long-term economic vitality in the community. 

The SBEAL Program has a total of $100,000 available for assisting businesses. Funding for the SBEAL Program is made possible by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.


To be eligible to receive a Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan through the program, applicants must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Demonstrate that its business operations have been directly and adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly businesses deemed nonessential by the State of Minnesota, those which have faced temporary closures per State of Minnesota executive orders, or other businesses as approved by the City of Hopkins;
  • Be located within the City of Hopkins and have a physical address that is a brick and mortar facility with foot traffic;
  • Be a for-profit business that has been in operation prior to March 1, 2020;
  • Be a legal entity registered and in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State;
  • Be in compliance with city ordinances, codes, licensing, and must not have any delinquent taxes, bills, or other charges due to the City;
  • Employ at least 1 person in addition to the owner and no more than 25 full-time equivalents (FTEs); and
  • Owner of multiple businesses may only receive one loan.

Eligible Expenses

The SBEAL Program may be used for business operating expenses incurred since March 15, 2020, including:

  • Commercial rent or mortgage payments
  • Utility payments
  • Insurance payments 
  • Inventory costs
  • Payroll costs
  • Paying other direct business-related bills
  • Technological improvements to online platforms essential to operations during COVID-19
  • Materials and purchases required due to COVID-19, such as plexiglass or other dividers, signage, hygiene stations, or outdoor furnishings to comply with social distancing and COVID-related regulations. 
  • Supplies for cleaning, safety, or screening, including purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Ineligible Expenses

The SBEAL Program may not be used for the following activities:

  • Property taxes.
  • Gambling.
  • Adult entertainment.
  • Registered lobbying.
  • Billboards.
  • Purchase of machinery or vehicles.
  • Moving expenses.

Loan Guidelines

  • Businesses may apply for a one-time forgivable emergency assistance loan award not to exceed $5,000. Each approved business’s maximum grant amount shall be limited to their identified eligible expenses.
  • All loans shall have an interest rate of 0.0%.
  • All loan awards must be utilized by November 15, 2020. 
  • Upon satisfactory completion of reporting requirements, the loan will be forgiven and the loan agreement terminated by the City.
  • The Hopkins SBEAL Program has a limited amount of funds available. If the program is over-subscribed, loan recipients will be determined through a random lottery process until the loan funds are exhausted.
  • Receipt of CARES Act funds through the Small Business Administration (SBA), Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Hennepin County or other programs does not affect an applicant’s eligibility for the SBEAL Program; however, SBEAL funds must be used for expenses not reimbursed by these grants or forgivable loans.

Application Process

  • There is no fee to apply to the Hopkins Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program.
  • Applications for the SBEAL Program are required to be submitted online at the City of Hopkins website. A completed online application with all questions answered is all that is required initially.
  • Applications will be accepted from noon on September 1, 2020 to 3 p.m. on September 11, 2020. 
  • Hopkins staff will evaluate applications to determine if the applicant is potentially eligible for the SBEAL Program.  A randomized selection system will be used to select loan recipients if applications exceed available resources.
  • Hopkins anticipates notifying selected applicants by email the week of September 21, 2020.
  • If an application is selected to move forward for further review, the applicant will be required to submit additional documentation which may include:
    • Most recent tax return or equivalent documentation
    • Itemized budget for use of grant funds and itemized sources of any other COVID-19 related relief funding received
    • Proof of eligible expenses eligible expenses requested to be paid with loan funds, which includes, but is not limited to current payroll, unpaid invoices, mortgage/rent/utility/statements, and/or other unpaid business-related expenses.
    • IRS form 941, W3 or other documentation of payroll employees
  • Hopkins staff will work with selected applicants to verify eligibility and determine eligible expenditures pursuant to the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan and CARES Act guidelines, collect documentation, execute a loan agreement, and disburse funds.
  • Loan funds will distributed within two weeks after a loan agreement has been executed by all required parties.

How to Apply

The application period has closed.