Greater Mankato Growth Blog

Supplies Needed by Mankato Clinic

Guest Blog Post by Ceceli Polzin, Community and Customer Relations Manager, Mankato Clinic

Mankato Clinic  The Mankato Clinic is expecting a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The Mankato Clinic is very used to being Mankato’s Clinic and helping the community.  Now we need your help. Do you own or work at company with an inventory of PPE that you would be willing to donate?  Do you have a personal supply that you would be willing to part with?  Any amount helps- no donation is too small.

Here is what we need:

Hand sanitizer
Simple facemasks (homesewn are accepted too!)
N95 masks
Nitrile Gloves
Face shields
Surgical gowns

If you can donate or you have questions, please contact the Mankato Clinic Communications Department at or 507-389-8770.

#stayhomeminnesota #wewillthroughthistogether #mankatocliniccares

Free Student Loan Counseling Will Expand with New Grant

This is a guest blog post from LSS Financial Counseling.

LSS Financial Counseling recently received a new grant to expand our student loan debt counseling service. With these new funds, we can support more Minnesotans who are facing challenges with their student loan repayment.

The grant is timely and necessary. “Minnesota ranks ninth in the country for the average debt load, with $32,317 per graduate,” said Becky Pakarinen, LSS Financial Counseling’s senior director. “Sixty-eight percent of Minnesota graduates carry debt – the third highest percentage in the nation.”

How Student Loan Counseling Works

If you are struggling with student loan debt or have questions about your student loans, we provide free, one-on-one, confidential support. Your financial counselor will work with  you to understand your student loan options and create an individualized action plan with tangible steps to take to improve your  financial situation.

You can:

  • Explore state/federal loan programs and repayment options.
  • Find ways to bring loans into good standing.
  • Create a realistic budget to cover monthly expenses.
  • Get assistance contacting servicers and lenders.
  • Learn how to avoid default and the problems it creates.

Julie Successfully Tackles Her Debt

Our counselors have years of experience working with individuals facing federal and private student loan debt. Julie Killian faithfully made student loan payments for several years, including payments on a loan she had co-signed with her then-husband. She received a notice from the bank one day stating that a loan was forgiven. This notice led her to believe that she could stop making all loan payments. That notice, however, was misleading. Julie found out months later that she still had to pay on several other loans and now she was several months behind on her payments.

Read the full blog post on LSS Financial Counseling’s blog >>

Paid Leave Flow Charts

aem-wfs-logo- friends at Abdo, Eick and Meyers Workforce Solutions have created two great flowcharts to help businesses determine when and how to pay employees under the new paid leave programs in the Families First Coronavirus Response act and identifying how to calculate and apply for credits and refunds. Check them out!

Webinar: How State and Federal Legislation Can Help Your Business


Both the federal government and Minnesota Legislature have recently passed legislation that will speed critical funds to Minnesota businesses and families. With new legislation comes questions on what the changes mean for Minnesota businesses. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce recorded a webinar to answer your questions on both the state and federal COVID-19 relief packages. Patrick Baker on the GMG team is also well-versed in these new state/federal programs and is happy to walk any business through them. You can contact him at 507-385-6657 or Read More

Temporary Employment Opportunities

Greater Mankato Growth, in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, has launched an inventory of available temporary employment opportunities.

Read More

UPDATED: Paycheck Protection Program

FromTheDomeOn March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This bill will provides significant support to businesses. The signature piece of the new law is the “Paycheck Protection Program” which will provide $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid COVID-19 and economic downturn. This new program provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency.  Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

UPDATED: Businesses will be able to apply for these forgivable loans starting April 3rd through most all local banks. The U.S. Treasury Department has issued preliminary guidance that you can view HEREYou can view the fully Treasury website on the program here.

In addition, our friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have prepared an easy-to-understand checklist to guide businesses and self-employed individuals through this new program as they prepare to file for a loan.

Response Requested: Staffing Increases for Essential Businesses

Greater Mankato Growth is working with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to assist in inventorying businesses that are adding temporary additional employees as a result of COVID-19. Please complete the linked survey for each position/job category you are adding as a direct result of COVID-19.

As surveys come in, the results will be published and viewable here. If you have any confidential staffing increases to be shared with DEED but not publicly, please email Ryan Vesey and John Considine with Greater Mankato Growth.

If you’re already working with a staffing agency, we encourage you to continue to utilize that resource for recruitment and payrolling support. Staffing agencies you already work with will be able to provide you with administrative assistance at the highest level.  If you are not already working with a staffing agency, and would like to use those resources for recruitment and payrolling support, a list of local agencies can be found in our business directory.

Unemployed due to COVID19? Critical Industries need your Help.

The guest blog below is from Jessica Miller, a Workforce Strategy Consultant with DEED for the South Central/Southwest region.

Are you a leisure and hospitality industry service provider whose job has been recently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Our health care industry needs you!

Read More

UPDATED: Stimulus 3.0 – Federal CARES Act: Key Provisions Impacting Employers

FromTheDomeOn March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This is the third bill passed by Congress in response to COVID-19. This bill provides significant resources to businesses and individuals alike to weather this crisis. Greater Mankato Growth has compiled a summary of the key provisions in the bill impacting businesses – of which there are many. This may be overwhelming, but know that more resources will be coming soon to assist you as the law is implemented and Greater Mankato Growth will be there every step of the way to ensure you are kept informed with timely and accurate information.

You can also view excellent summaries done by the US Chamber of Commerce and US Senate Committee on Small Business & EntrepreneurshipRead More

Webinar: SBDC and GMG Review Business Resources

On Wednesday morning, March 25th, the Small Business Development Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato and Greater Mankato Growth reviewed the primary available resources for businesses to date.

The recorded video highlights the:

  1. SBA Disaster Loan,
  2. the Shared Worker program,
  3. and the MN DEED Small Business Emergency Loan

These 3 primary resources should be explored by businesses impacted by COVID 19. Below is a link the video:

Governor’s Stay at Home Order

FromTheDomeThis afternoon Governor Walz announced plans for a temporary Stay at Home Executive Order: The Minnesota Model to take effect on Friday, March 27 at 11:59 p.m. to Friday, April 10 as a next step and action to address the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans.  This order will also extend the closure of restaurants, bars, hospitality and recreational facilities from last week’s order until May 1, 2020.  Additionally, schools will be closed and learning will be online until May 4, 2020. Read More

US Department of Labor Guidance on Paid Leave

FromTheDomeThe US Department of Labor has issued preliminary guidance for employers and employees implementing the new paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. As a reminder, all employers with 500 or less employees must implement these new federally reimbursed paid leave programs by April 1. The US Internal Revenue Service has also issued preliminary guidance on reimbursement for these programs. Final guidance/forms are expected to be released this week.