(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.
(b) "Business entity" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation.
(c) "Disabled person" means a person with a disability as defined under section 363A.03, subdivision 12.
(d) "Full-time employee" means an employee who is employed for at least 35 hours per week.
The commissioner of employment and economic development shall establish the affirmative enterprise program for the purpose of encouraging the full-time employment of disabled persons in areas of economic need. The commissioner shall determine areas of economic need based on present and past levels of unemployment and population loss, and present and past reductions in industrial and business activity.
A business entity is eligible for an affirmative enterprise grant if it meets the following criteria:
(1) except in the case of a business entity with fewer than ten employees, it employs at least 25 percent of its full-time employees from persons who are not disabled;
(2) it employs at least 50 percent of its full-time employees from disabled persons;
(3) it maintains an integrated work force of nondisabled and disabled persons at the highest possible level;
(4) every full-time employee has an employee status with all accompanying rights and responsibilities;
(5) the following benefits are provided to each full-time employee:
(i) paid vacation;
(ii) paid holidays;
(iii) paid sick leave;
(iv) a personalized career plan;
(v) retirement with employer participation; and
(vi) a co-payment health insurance plan;
(6) a full-time employee selected by all employees of the business entity meets with the business entity's management at least once a month;
(7) each full-time employee is informed of other less restrictive employment when it becomes available;
(8) all full-time employees are required to participate in at least two evaluations per year with accompanying wage adjustments; and
(9) profit-sharing based on the business entity's performance is provided to all full-time employees.
Affirmative enterprise grants must be used by the business to provide training and support services to disabled persons in conjunction with economic development.
Preference for grant awards must be given to a business entity that: (1) offers ownership options or individual personal improvement plans with employer-sponsored training, has a long-term business plan, and is working collaboratively with the local economic development authority or organization; or (2) has a higher percentage of disabled employees than another eligible entity.