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116O.115 SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH ACCELERATION PROGRAM.
    Subdivision 1. Establishment; purpose. The small business growth acceleration program is
established. The purpose of the program is to (1) help qualified companies implement technology
and business improvements; and (2) bridge the gap between standard market pricing for
technology and business improvements and what qualified companies can afford to pay.
    Subd. 2. Qualified company. A company is qualified to receive assistance under the small
business growth acceleration program if it is a manufacturing company or a manufacturing-related
service company that employs 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
    Subd. 3. Applications for assistance. A company seeking assistance under the small
business growth acceleration program must file an application according to the requirements
of the corporation. A company's application for small business growth acceleration program
assistance must include documentation of the company's overall plan for technology and business
improvement and prioritize the components of the overall plan. The application must also
document the company's need for small business growth acceleration program funds in order to
carry forward the highest priority components of the plan.
    Subd. 4. Fund awards; use of funds. (a) The corporation shall establish procedures for
determining which applicants for assistance under the small business growth acceleration program
will receive program funding. Funding shall be awarded only to accelerate a qualified company's
adoption of needed technology or business improvements when the corporation concludes that it
is unlikely the improvements could be accomplished in any other way.
    (b) The maximum amount of funds awarded to a qualified company under the small business
growth acceleration program for a particular project must not exceed 50 percent of the total cost
of a project and must not under any circumstances exceed $25,000 during a calendar year. The
corporation shall not award to a qualified company small business growth acceleration program
funds in excess of $50,000 per year.
    (c) Any funds awarded to a qualified company under the small business growth acceleration
program must be used for business services and products that will enhance the operation of the
company. These business services and products must come either directly from the corporation
or from a network of expert providers identified and approved by the corporation. No company
receiving small business growth acceleration program funds may use the funds for refinancing,
overhead costs, new construction, renovation, equipment, or computer hardware.
    (d) Any funds awarded must be disbursed to the qualified company as reimbursement
documented according to requirements of the corporation.
    Subd. 5. Service agreements. The corporation shall enter a written service agreement with
each company awarded funds under the small business growth acceleration program. Each service
agreement shall clearly articulate the company's need for service, state the cost of the service,
identify who will provide the service, and define the scope of the service that will be provided.
The service agreement must also include an estimate of the financial impact of the service on
the company and require the company to report the actual financial impact of the service to the
corporation 24 months after the service is provided.
    Subd. 6. Reporting. The corporation shall report annually to the legislative committees with
fiscal jurisdiction over the Department of Employment and Economic Development:
    (1) the funds awarded under the small business growth acceleration program during the
past 12 months;
    (2) the estimated financial impact of the funds awarded to each company receiving service
under the program; and
    (3) the actual financial impact of funds awarded during the past 24 months.
History: 2007 c 135 art 2 s 18