Changes in the Paycheck Protection Program that benefit the smallest of small businesses

The Paycheck Protection Program has been one of the most visible programs inside the US Government’s response to the pandemic. The overall goal of the program was to get loans to small businesses to help them keep their staff employed as we entered the unknown waters of a pandemic economy. If these small businesses kept their staffs employed, these loans would be forgiven, and the loans would essentially convert into grants. There was recently a change to how much funding a small business would qualify for, and this change will have a dramatic impact on the smallest businesses who were previously either left out of the program or only qualified for a nominal amount of funds. 

These changes revolve around people who report their business income using a Schedule C on their tax return. Schedule Cs are typically used for sole proprietors (fancy way of saying people who do business in their personal name with no formal entity like a LLC or corporation), but some LLCs also use Schedule Cs. Up until this point, these businesses would determine the amount of a loan they qualified for by combining the annual payroll costs of any employees with the net profit of the business. These two figures formed the basis of the calculation, and the idea was that these figures would represent the combined compensation paid the employees and the owner.

The unintended consequence of how the program was initially setup is that many of the smallest businesses operate at essentially a breakeven where income is nearly entirely offset by expenses. Due to this, the “owners” portion (net profit) could be very low or $0 which caused their PPP loan amount to go down. With the new changes, the “owner” compensation portion of the calculation has been switched from using the net profit to the gross profit. This change will dramatically impact the amount of PPP funds a small business can qualify for as well as even allowing some businesses with a negative net profit to receive PPP funds when previously they did not qualify at all.

These changes became effective on March 5th, and they will be in place through the end of the program on March 31st. This can have a massive impact on some of the smallest businesses in our community.  Businesses that use Schedule Cs range from popup stands at the farmers market to businesses on Front Street. This group of businesses provide much of the vitality that makes Mankato special; so let’s get the word out so these businesses survive!

At Pioneer Bank, we have funded over 1,350 PPP loans for our community with a median loan size of $20,000. Most banks have access to this program, but anyone can feel free to send any questions to Clay Sharkey.

COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Operating your business safely during a pandemic

Conducting business activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic takes careful planning to ensure employees and customers are safe and business goals are met. Mayo Clinic experts have carefully developed strategies and protocols focused on mitigating COVID-19 within the health care setting, where halting transmission is critical. They are also currently tailoring those strategies to support and advise businesses in settings outside of health care.

Mayo Clinic has refined its expertise and may offer advisory services in the following areas, which may be relevant to your business:

Continue reading “COVID-19 Resources for Businesses”

Greater Mankato Growth Nonprofit Engagement Fund

Greater Mankato Growth has partnered with Mayo Clinic Health System to offer Greater Mankato Growth’s Nonprofit Engagement Fund for memberships, programs, and events. This partnership was established to ensure nonprofit organizations and their staff can take advantage of the many benefits offered through Greater Mankato Growth. The partnership recognizes that nonprofit organizations throughout Greater Mankato are a steady source of economic growth for our region as well as a key partner in providing vital services, employing residents, and improving the quality of life.

“Nonprofit organizations provide vital services that impact the health and wellness of our employees, patients and community members. We are excited to be the sponsor for Greater Mankato Growth’s nonprofit scholarship fund which will enable leaders from this sector to participate in various GMG opportunities,” Dr. James Hebl, Regional Vice President, Mayo Clinic Health System, Southwest Minnesota

Nonprofit Membership Rate:

Nonprofits are now eligible to pay the Basic Level pricing at $330 and receive the benefits of the Engaged Level (typical pricing at $770). To be considered, nonprofit organizations must meet one of the following criteria:

• Have an annual budget or gross revenue of $400,000 or less;

• Be able to prove financial hardship with detrimental impact to the local community. This information must be included in the application narrative.



Engagement Funds for Events and Programming:

Through the Greater Mankato Growth Engagement Fund, Greater Mankato Growth (GMG) will offer
partial funding toward Greater Mankato Growth events and programming, which includes but is not limited to:


• Professional Development;
• GMG Talent Programs (including but not limited to Leadership Institute, Young Professionals,
Navigators, and Executive Sounding Board);
• Volunteer Groups, such as Ambassadors and Cavaliers;
• Events (including Business After Hours, Business Awards & Hall of Fame, Annual Meeting, and
other connecting events).

TO APPLY FOR THE NONPROFIT RATE OR ENGAGEMENT FUNDS PLEASE EMAIL A ONE PARAGRAPH
REQUEST TO INFO@GREATERMANKATO.COM or learn more details here:

New Business Focus, First National Bank Minnesota Featuring Mike Bresnahan and Eric Peters

First National Bank Minnesota is a full-service financial institution headquartered in St. Peter, Minnesota, with banking offices in Mankato, St. Peter, Gaylord, and Belle Plaine. Our primary geographic market covers a large area in south central Minnesota, including Nicollet, Blue Earth, LeSueur, Scott, Carver, and Sibley counties.

Continue reading “New Business Focus, First National Bank Minnesota Featuring Mike Bresnahan and Eric Peters”

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. Continue reading “Buy Local: Facemasks and other PPE”

Member Exclusive Advertising Discounts

member exclusiveAs our community looks to get back into business, it will be critical for businesses to advertise and share with the public their status and what they’re doing to make sure their customers are safe. We also know that often when you need to advertise the most is when cash may be tight – especially now.

Recognizing that, Greater Mankato Growth worked with local media partners to arrange for discounted advertising packages exclusively available to our members. We’d like to thank The Free Press & KEYC News Now for stepping up in the true spirit of community to lend a helping hand to get our businesses back on their feet by offering these special rates for Greater Mankato Growth members.

Below are the discounts being offered by each media company. To take advantage of the offer, you can simply contact the identified individual and let them know you’re a Greater Mankato Growth member. They will verify your status based on a list of members provided to them.

Greater Mankato Growth has an entire Online Toolkit of resources to help our businesses open safely.

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GMG Q2 Report

GMG_TM_4C_300dpiOur entire team at Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. works each day to bring value to our members and drive increased vitality to the Greater Mankato region. To ensure that we’re effectively updating our partners and the community on our work, we revamped our annual report. Instead of a once-a-year 40+ page document, we’ve transitioned to a quarterly report in a new, condensed infographic layout. This has allowed us to streamline and considerably reduce staff time as well as printing costs all while making the content easier to digest, more immediate, and more impactful. I invite you to take a look at our Quarter 2 report.

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Partnerships with local businesses provide meaningful experiences for Travel Writers

Visit Mankato working with influencers to promote Greater Mankato as a travel destination

It’s no secret that “word of mouth” has always had a strong effect on consumer behavior. If John Doe is patronizing a business and just scarfed up the #WorldsBestPizza, social media is going to know about it. On the contrary, the door of publicity can swing both ways especially if Mr. Doe had to wait a few extra minutes in line to receive his car rental and then plasters his negative review all over the Internet. So in reality, influencers are everywhere sharing their #BestTimeEver and #NeverDoingThatAgain experiences. Anyone can be a critic, but who’s to say they are a credible source? Some have even gone so far as to “arrange” negative reviews on their competitors (UFF DA!).

wander-olives-pasta-1Influencer marketing has been a strong initiative of Visit Mankato and developing effective strategies through research of our local markets. We have built relationships with notable influencers from around the country that align with our destination’s assets. From there, we work with local businesses to build an itinerary and create an experience for these influencers to promote Greater Mankato by sharing their story through various mediums to followers from all around who share similar interests.

Continue reading “Partnerships with local businesses provide meaningful experiences for Travel Writers”

Changing For and With Your Business

The following article was written by Kallie Kleinschmidt, who is part of Greater Mankato Growth member company, Eide Bailly. Kleinschmidt shares a few considerations to keep in mind as a business professional in a constantly changing world, along with information about Eide Bailly’s free webinar series.

At Eide Bailly, we get it. Change is hard, but it’s inevitable. This past year, our country underwent the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the largest tax reform legislation in 30 years—and it was a rollercoaster of change. These new rules and regulations caused confusion and frustration by impacting every business and all individuals in some way or another. The impact was seen not only in our own accounting practice, but also with business owners and individuals, which is what inspired us to find a way to keep our clients, colleagues and friends informed. That’s when we created the Business Trends Webinar Series. This year-long webinar series was made with you and your business in mind. We want to help you stay informed on current business trends, so you can plan for your future and prepare for change.

Each month, two to five one-hour long webinars are hosted online. They are free, open to the public, and they offer continuing education credits to all. These informational and educational webinars are hosted by some of Eide Bailly’s brightest thought leaders in the industry to keep you informed and up to date with current business trends, new regulations and any current changes your business could be going through at that time. We understand the importance of setting yourself up for success, so we cover a wide variety of topics each month to help you advance your business through information such as: information technology, tax planning, forensic accounting, employee benefit plans, small business owner retirement plans and more. Having the right information at the right time can help you make the best decisions for not only yourself, but your business, too.

To get you thinking about yourself and your business, here are our top four considerations for 2019 that may impact your business and lead to big decision making:

  1. Evolving Technology. The rate of innovation and technological changes are faster than anything we’ve experienced before. Staying abreast of new software solutions and how best to access information when and where you need it is incredibly important. This can lead to improved and quicker decision making along with increased efficiencies.
  2. Cybersecurity. Along with evolving technology, the risk of cybersecurity incidents has risen. Having a plan in place to protect your data and respond to cyber threats should they occur is crucial.
  3. Wealth Planning. Planning for your future has never been more important. Understanding new tax laws and putting a solid estate, wealth and retirement plan in place will provide peace of mind for successful financial future.
  4. Tax Credits and Deductions. Tax laws and regulations are constantly changing. Staying aware of available opportunities, including credits and deductions, can save you time and money.

At Eide Bailly, what inspires you, inspires us. We want to help you grow your business and find your own personal success. If you want to stay informed on current business trends and new regulations, consider joining us for any or all of our webinars at eidebailly.com/Business-Trends.