Co-op Creation Fund

This fund provides pandemic recovery grants to emerging co-operatives in the City of Minneapolis.

Grants for emerging co-ops

The City allocated $300,000 in one-time funds to the Co-op Creation Fund.

Individuals and businesses who are forming a co-op as a pandemic recovery strategy can apply for grants from this fund.

Grant amounts

  • Minimum: $5,000
  • Maximum: $25,000

Eligibility and use requirements

We're accepting applications until all funds are used

Apply through our partners at Shared Capital Cooperative

Eligibility requirements


You can apply if both of the following statements are true.

  • The pandemic or the resulting recession had a negative impact on your business. This includes being unemployed or underemployed.
  • You are forming a new cooperative model of business as part of an employment or economic recovery strategy.

Small businesses

You can apply if your business has fewer than 500 employees and is:

  • Independently owned and operated, and
  • Not dominant in its field of operation, and
  • Transitioning to a cooperative model of business to reduce financial hardship resulting from the COVID–19 public health emergency.

Housing cooperatives and nonprofits are not eligible to receive these funds.

Allowable uses

It's okay to use these funds for

  • Feasibility studies
  • Appraisals
  • Legal fees for legal review, legal agreement drafting, and formation documents.
  • Registration fees (e.g. as a new or amended entity)
  • Preparation of financial statements and/or tax documents
  • Creation of a sales agreement
  • Creation of new guiding operational documents or systems, such as:
    • Employee/ worker-owner manual
    • Accounting system set-up 

It's not okay to use these funds for

  • Acquisition of a business for conversion
  • Real estate acquisition
  • Equipment and leasehold improvements
  • Inventory, wages, rent, and other working capital
  • General business consulting available for free through the:
    • Business technical assistance program (BTAP)
    • Cooperative technical assistance program (CTAP)
  • Costs incurred before applying for this grant 

Qualifying cooperatives

We define cooperative to include any of the following.

    • Operating as a cooperative
    • Operating on a cooperative basis
    • Intending to operate on a cooperative basis
    • Worker-owned cooperatives
    • Democratic Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
    • Consumer cooperatives

Location and service area

To receive this grant, your cooperative must:

  • Be located in the City of Minneapolis, or
  • Serve Minneapolis residents or businesses (if you don't have a physical location)

Contact us

Small Business Team

Community Planning & Economic Development




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415