Greater Mankato Growth Blog

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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What’s My Occupancy Limit?

occupancyAs businesses reopen, some are restricted to certain limitations based on a percentage of total occupancy. Below is information to help you determine the occupancy capacity for your business. Read More

Looking for PPE? Check out the MN Supplier Match

Supplier Match

If your company is looking for PPE or other COVID-19 related resources as you reopen, it may be worthwhile to check out the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s MN Supplier Match to help you find the PPE you need. The Supplier Match database has over 1000 companies and can be sorted by keyword. It also currently has a list dedicated to COVID-19 related supplies as well as options to filter by minority-owned, women-owned, or veteran-owned suppliers. If would like access, simply email suppliermatch@mnchamber.com with the subject line “MN Supplier Match Credential Request” to request login credentials. The supplier match can be found on the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Website at https://www.mnchamber.com/your-opportunity/mn-supplier-match.

Example of the Supplier Match search functionality

Become listed as a supplier

While all Minnesota Chamber of Commerce members can be listed as a supplier, they have also opened the supplier listings to any business that is currently producing PPE, cleaning services, and other COVID-19 related products and services. If you’d like to be included, please fill out the form found here.

Gov. Walz Announces Additional Business Reopenings for June 1

FromTheDomeGovernor Tim Walz today announced a new executive order that would allow for additional businesses to reopen effective June 1 (Phase II). The governor additionally outlined additional phases (Phases III & IV) that will be coming in the future as the state continues to reopen businesses and other activities, however the timeline for when those phases will go into effect is not yet known.

Clarification was also provided that effective immediately, youth sports can conduct practices of up to 10 people, but that games would not be allowed until the next phase of openings. Read More

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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Mankato Sustaining Loan Program Open for Application

CityMkto_LeadingTheWayThe City of Mankato has created a sustaining loan program to assist small businesses in Mankato. This loan is for Mankato businesses with 50 or fewer employees who have had a revenue decrease of 50% of more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible business owners may apply for a one time loan of up to $5,000 per applicant with a zero percent interest rate during the deferral period and two percent thereafter. Loans will be for a maximum length of 24 months from the time the deferral period ends. Eligible loan activities include operating capital to assist businesses with sustaining itself such as for lease/mortgage payments, utility bills, property taxes, supply and inventory. It is anticipated that funding decisions will be made in June. Applications must be submitted by June 1, 2020.

The application is available on the City’s website here.