BizRecycling Relief Grants
Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy (R&E) has allocated funding to support small businesses that are facing financial hardship as the result of COVID-19, recent civil unrest or the economic downturn.
One-time grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to eligible businesses for operational expenses related to managing waste and recycling effectively.
These funds are an extension of the R&E commercial recycling program, BizRecycling. BizRecycling helps business reduce waste and improve recycling and organics collection.
Businesses may apply for a grant to cover the following expenses:
- 6-months reimbursement for recycling and organics hauling costs.
- 6-month purchase of recyclable or compostable dinnerware or to-go packaging.
- 6-month purchase of packaging for food recovery and donation efforts.
- Infrastructure and equipment for use in food recovery and donation efforts.
- Up to 10 hours per month staff wage (up to $20 an hour) for operational costs related to recycling, organics, food recovery and waste reduction efforts for a period of 6 months.
- One hour of staff wages per staff member to receive recycling training. Training will be on-site at your business and hosted by a BizRecycling consultant. Hourly rate is an average of employees in attendance, not to exceed $20 per hour.
- Other operational needs related to the overarching goals of waste reduction and recycling best practices, as approved by R&E.
Businesses may not use funds to pay trash hauling costs or business expenses not related to waste reduction.
Businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Locally-owned and operated businesses in Ramsey and Washington Counties.
- A “business” is defined to include for-profit entities and non-profit entities.
- “Locally-owned and operated” means a business with a physical address documenting business as established in Ramsey or Washington County.
- Multiple business locations in Ramsey and Washington Counties that are owned by the same entity are eligible for individual grants as long as each location meets all eligibility criteria.
- Employee equivalent of 1-100 full time workers, as of March 1, 2020.
- For businesses with multiple locations in Ramsey and/or Washington Counties, the employee equivalent is the cumulative number of employees across all locations.
- Experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, civil unrest or the economic downturn.
- Agree to a 30-minute site visit from a BizRecycling consultant within 6 months of receiving grant funds. The consultant will verify the use of grant funds and provide recommendations on how to reduce waste and improve waste management operations.
- Be in compliance with the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 business operations guidance.
- Be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State and the Minnesota Department of Revenue as of March 1, 2020.
Previous BizRecycling grantees are eligible to apply for a Relief Grant. Previous grantees must be in good standing with the terms of their previous grant agreement.
Ineligible entities include home-based businesses; corporate chains (but locally owned franchise businesses are eligible); all public, private and charter K-12 schools; multi-unit residential properties; tenants in publicly owned spaces, and colleges or universities.
Funding is limited. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are exhausted.
Businesses will receive 50% of the grant award upon execution of a grant agreement. The remaining 50% will be disbursed after the business meets with the BizRecycling consultant and completes a report form verifying how the funds were spent. Businesses have 6 months to complete all activities.
FAQs will be updated as new information becomes available. Please check back here frequently.
I have applied for COVID-related emergency small business funding through my city, Ramsey or Washington County, or DEED. Should I still apply for a BizRecycling Relief Grant?
Yes. Receiving a COVID small business relief grant from another entity does not prohibit you from receiving a BizRecycling Relief Grant. The BizRecycling Relief Grant may only be spent on expenses related to waste reduction and management, such as recycling and organics collection.
I have received federal emergency funding through either the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Am I eligible to apply for a BizRecycling Relief Grant?
Yes. The BizRecycling Relief Grant may only be spent on expenses related to waste reduction and management.
What documentation is required at time of application?
Applicants must submit a current W-9 at time of application.
What documentation is required after the application, but prior to receiving a grant?
All grantees will be required to entire into a grant agreement with Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy. As part of that process, you may be asked to provide the following documentation:
- Documentation of business revenue from 2019 (or the business’ most recent fiscal year if different), e.g. tax return, financial statements, reports, or any such records that can verify business revenue.
- Documentation of payroll and employee count, if any, as of March 1, 2020.
- Verification of the cost of requested items. For example, copies of waste hauling bills or proof of cost of requested materials.
How will funding decisions be made?
Your grant application will be reviewed by a committee from Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy, Ramsey County and Washington County. Applications that fall within the parameters of eligible expenses will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis until funding runs out.
My business had over five employees prior to the COVID crisis, but currently all employees have been laid off. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. Eligibility is determined by the number of employees on March 1, 2020.
How is financial hardship defined? What level of financial hardship must my business show to qualify for this program?
The business must prove there was more than a 10% drop in gross revenues year-over-year between March 1 and May 31, 2019 vs. March 1 and May 31, 2020. If your business is unable to show this change, contact us to identify alternative ways to document financial hardship.
Fill out the BizRecycling Relief Grant Application.
Submit a current W-9 with your application.
Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
Applicants will be notified by email within two weeks of applying. Upon notice of an approved grant request, applicants will be required to sign a grant agreement with R&E prior to disbursement of funds.
R&E reserves the right to request additional documentation of the status of the business’ financial hardship or grant request at any time.
R&E reserves the right to revise these guidelines as needed.
COVID Safe Site Assessments
All on-site assessments will be conducted while adhering to social distancing guidelines and the use of PPE. If the business does not feel comfortable with an in-person assessment, a virtual consultation with additional reporting documentation on use of funds may be substituted.