Greater Mankato Growth Blog

Grant Available for Blue Earth County Businesses

The Blue Earth County Board of Commissioners recently approved allocating $2 million in economic support to organizations affected by COVID-19. This funding is from federal legislation: the CARES Act.

Small locally owned businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 may apply for a one time grant of up to $10,000 (per applicant) to cover expenses for up to three months through Blue Earth County’s Business Assistance Grant Program. Read More

Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline to host August 11 Webinar for Employers

This is a guest blog submission from Dan Solomon of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

The Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline is an innovative approach to address current and future workforce needs. The program works with employers to change the conversation from “How do we find workers with the skills we need?” to “How do we GIVE workers the skills we need?”

Pipeline exists to support employers in creating or enhancing a competency based dual-training approach where workers receive a combination of related instruction strategically paired with on-the-job training. Dual-training grants through the Minnesota Office of Higher Education provide funding for employers to create new and expand existing dual-training initiatives.  Pipeline focuses on the four industries of advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services and information technology.  In the Mankato area, Pipeline is thrilled to most recently support workforce training efforts at Jones Metal, Dotson Iron Castings, V-Tek, Inc. and Mankato Clinic. 

Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline is here for business and available to provide consultation with employers interested in setting up dual training any time throughout the year.  In addition, Pipeline hosts industry forums to bring business leaders together to share information and provide updates as well as hosts a speaker series with a variety of topics of interest to employers.  Pipeline also hosts 101 Webinars for those brand new to the program who would like to learn more.  The next Pipeline 101 webinar is on August 11 from 9am to 10am and you can sign up at the following link here:  https://www.dli.mn.gov/business/workforce/pipeline-events

To learn more about Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline or to contact one of the Pipeline staff, visit https://www.dli.mn.gov/pipeline .

Buy Local: Facemasks and other PPE

Recently Greater Mankato Growth distributed 66,000 face masks in Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties in response to the statewide mandate. The intent was to assist businesses in welcoming customers, keeping employees safe, and assisting in keeping costs down for area businesses. See full news release here. Read More

Managing COVID-19 cases and exposures in your business

This is a guest blog by Greater Mankato Growth member, Mankato Clinic.

As the Greater Mankato region experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases, business owners and managers have many questions and concerns on how to stay open and keep customers, staff and our community safe.

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10 Disciplines for Leaders in Good & Bad Times

This is a guest blog post by Joe Paulsen from Greater Mankato Growth member business, Pinnacle Business Traction.

At the virtual Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) conference in May, my biggest take away came from the creator of EOS, Gino Wickman. He gave a keynote address titled: “Managing Human Energy Coming Out of a Crisis.” Gino provided 10 Disciplines for Leaders who want to perform at the top of his/her game in good times or challenging times. Following are the 10 Disciplines with a brief explanation:

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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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EIDL Loan Program Reopened for New Applications

FromTheDomeThe Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) is now reopened for all eligible business to apply for the $10,000 grant advance and loan. The program was previously closed for new applications for a period of time due to a funding lapse. Businesses can get more information and apply for this program here.

Legislature Passes Business Grant Program

FromTheDomeThe Minnesota Legislature on the first day of their special session passed a bill to provide $62.5 million in small business grants (not loans) of up to $10,000. Governor Walz is expected to sign.

Of the total, half will be distributed to Greater Minnesota businesses through the Initiative Foundations. Businesses with 50 or fewer FTE and who can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 will qualify. The bill also provides specific minimum funding amounts that must go to businesses with six or less employees and businesses that are minority-owned, women-owned, or veteran-owned.

More details and applications will be forthcoming. It is anticipated that since requests will outstrip available funding, grants will be awarded on a lottery system. Stay tuned to the Greater Mankato Growth blog for further updates.

UPDATED: What’s My Occupancy Limit?

occupancyAs businesses reopen, some are restricted to certain limitations based on a percentage of total occupancy. Below is information from experts at the City of Mankato to help you determine the occupancy capacity for your business. Once the occupant load is known, divide the occupant load by the reduction per Executive Order(s). Read More

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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Mankato Recovery Loan Program Open for Application

CityMkto_LeadingTheWayThe City of Mankato has created a recovery loan program to assist small businesses in Mankato. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees may apply for a deferred loan of up to $25,000 through this program for property and business improvements to help reopen and operate safely following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Recovery loans are repaid over five years and have: Read More

Managing Anxiety in an Uncertain Economy

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

Our economy has been turned upside down and sideways. Even as businesses reopen, worry about surviving the economic impact is reasonable and common. Amid this uncertainty, here are some ways to manage anxiety.

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