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The Cook County Grand Marais EDA and the Northland Small Business Development Center announce applications are now being accepted for the PROMISE ACT Grant Program

Mar 27, 2024 08:30AM ● By Content Editor
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From the Cook County Grand Marais EDA and the Northland Small Business Development Center - March 27, 2024

The Cook County Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC)  announced today that the application period for the PROMISE ACT (Providing Resources & Opportunity & Maximizing Investments in Striving Entrepreneurs) Grant Program is now open until May 21, 2024. The PROMISE ACT was approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Tim Walz. 

 A total of $86,480,000 million will be awarded as grants in multiple rounds.

Grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, equipment, and other similar expenses that occur in the regular course of business. 

A high-level summary of the PROMISE ACT Grant Program:

  • Grants from $10,000 to $50,000 will be available depending on business revenue in 2021. Only existing businesses with revenue below $750,000 are eligible to apply.
  • Non-profit organizations that earn at least 30% of their revenue similar to a business are eligible to apply.
  • The grant application period is open for eight weeks. Any application received during that period will be considered equally to the others. Funding is NOT on a first come first serve basis.
  • Applying does not guarantee funding. It's anticipated there will be more applications than available funding. A business may reapply in the 2025 grant round if they do not receive a grant in 2024.
  • The guidelines for this program were set by the legislature in the 2023 legislative session. The Northland Foundation did not have input into the grant program guidelines, which are set by the PROMISE ACT law.
  • To be competitive, a business must meet three criteria. Businesses that don’t meet all of these requirements can apply, but their grant score will be ranked lower than businesses that meet all three.
    • Gross Revenue less than $750,000 in 2021
    • Economic Hardship – a 10% decline in gross revenue OR any decline in net profits in 2022 compared to 2021 as shown on business taxes
    • Received less than $10,000 in previous State of Minnesota COVID-related aid


The application is 23 questions long with most of the questions being yes/no or quickly answered from tax return information. 

The EDA and SBDC are providing local office hours for anyone needing technical assistance. More information can be found at or by emailing Pat Campanaro at [email protected].

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