EEOC Guidance on Employer Vaccination Requirements

This is a guest blog post by Greater Mankato Growth member, Blethen Berens.

As COVID-19 vaccinations begin to take place in the United States, discussions are emerging about potential vaccination mandates from employers. In light of these discussions and questions, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released guidance for employers on vaccination mandates and the interplay with various workplace anti-discrimination laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The EEOC guidance on vaccinations indicates that employers can require that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to certain federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Such vaccinations could be required and administered by the employer, required by the employer but administered by a third party (e.g. pharmacy or health care provider), or offered by an employer on a voluntary basis.

The process of deciding whether or not to establish a mandatory vaccination policy should involve consideration of anti-discrimination laws, non-legal business and practical considerations, and if a policy is established, clear communication with employees is critical.

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Radio Mankato Hosting Restaurant Rally

This is a guest blog post written by Ashley Hanley of Greater Mankato Growth member business, Radio Mankato.

Radio Mankato is proud to help our local restaurants during these challenging times.

That is why we have launched the Restaurant Rally. The Rally takes place every Tuesday in December from 9-10 a.m. with Lisa Kaye and Crew on Minnesota, which can be found on your radio dial at 93.1 FM.

All commercials and music will be paused during this time. Restaurant and business owners are encouraged to call the station during that time, free of charge, to let our listeners know of services, deals and ordering information.

This is the first time in Radio Mankato’s history that we have paused live music and commercials. However, we as a station felt this is one small way we could help give back to our local businesses and help rally together. 

The phone number to call is: 507-625-9393.

Any local business is encouraged to participate.

Thank you to sponsors Prime Source Funding, Drummer’s Garden Center and Floral, and United Prairie Bank.

Strong Electrical Efficiency Rebates Remain for Xcel Energy Customers

This is a guest blog post by Greater Mankato Growth member business, Laketown Electric Corporation, to accompany their Business Focus video:

There is little doubt that the advancement of LED has drastically changed the landscape of the electrical contracting market for the better. Five years ago, a two-lamp fluorescent fixture would consume roughly 59 watts would deliver approximately 4,000 lumens and would last approximately 20,000 hours. They were not controllable except for on/off or occupancy sensing both with a special ballast. Once the tubes failed, they needed to be recycled in a special manner. 

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Recently Released PPP Loan Forgiveness Updates

Member guest blog post, submitted by EideBailly. This article originally appeared on

The government has released several updates to its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness guidance over the last few weeks. Here is a brief summary to help guide you through the PPP loan forgiveness process. Continue reading “Recently Released PPP Loan Forgiveness Updates”

A Guide to Prepare for Reopening and Repositioning Your Organization

This is a guest blog post by Greater Mankato Growth member business, Eide Bailly LLP.

As economies reopen across the country, many organizations have turned a critical eye to how they should reopen in the wake of the next normal. In a time of great operational uncertainty, how organizations can reopen and reposition themselves in the marketplace effectively will be critical to their long-term success.

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N95 Fit Test Reminder

Provenio Consulting Inc.
Provenio Consulting contributed to this blog

Due to this pandemic, N95 masks have become a piece of required PPE in industries where they have not been needed before. We wanted to remind companies that N95 masks are considered respirators and as a result, fall within OSHA’s respirator guidelines. It is important that companies train their employees on how to properly use N95 masks, ensure that the employees are medically able to wear a respirator, and perform a fit test. While OSHA has temporarily issued guidance lifting annual fit test requirements, initial fit tests are still required. We asked Brad Kramer of Provenio Consulting to provide some additional information about what those fit tests entail as well as additional details about respirator policy requirements. Brad shared the following regarding respirators:

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Working from Home: Adapting and managing school and work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

This is a guest blog post from Greater Mankato Growth member, Mayo Clinic Health System.

As the impact of COVID-19 increased in the United States, and Minnesota and Mankato began to brace for the impact in our area, a number of changes began in the lives of members of our community – at a relatively quick pace. Many people are working from home. However, many are working to juggle the demands of work productivity while also trying to help children complete virtual schoolwork and find meaningful activities during a time of social distancing. This can be a stressful juggling act. Here are some thoughts and suggestions about strategies for managing work from home, while also trying to provide support for children and schoolwork, deal with a lack of personal space, or support of other family members as we all navigate these difficult times.

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Five Things You Need to Know About the Paycheck Protection Program

This is a guest blog post by Greater Mankato Growth member, Eide Bailly LLP.

Several relief programs are in play in an effort to combat the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and organizations. One of the key programs is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Here are five things you should know about the PPP loans.

Continue reading “Five Things You Need to Know About the Paycheck Protection Program”

Keeping Your Home & Workplace Safe

This is a guest blog from Greater Mankato Growth member, SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna.

As our community continues to navigate these challenging times, SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna wants to stress the importance of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting in the workplace and at home. The CDC encourages daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

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Who is Minnesota Valley Action Council and just what is it that they do?

This is a guest blog post by Ann Macgregor from Minnesota Valley Action Council.

You have driven by our offices on Victory Dr. so you have seen the name. You may have even heard from us when we contacted you to sponsor our fundraiser Warm Your Heart and yet you still have no idea who or what we are.

Continue reading “Who is Minnesota Valley Action Council and just what is it that they do?”