Governor Walz Announces Updates to Current Dial-back Restrictions

Today, Governor Walz announced changes to current dial-back restrictions through Executive Order 20-103.

Effective Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11:59 pm, through Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 11:59 pm, the Governor has extended the provisions of Executive Order 20-99, with some modifications published in executive order 20-103. The order calls for the following changes or extension of measures related to businesses, educational institutions and social gatherings:

  • Social Gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 10 people (two households) while indoors with masks worn at-all-times. Indoor gatherings are discouraged. Outdoor social gatherings are limited to three families and 15 people outside.
  • Indoor entertainment, restaurants, bars and establishments will remain closed through January 11, 2021.
  • Outdoor entertainment will be allowed at 25% capacity, up to 100 people at a time.  If food and drink are served, people must be seated. 
  • Gyms and fitness studios will re-open at 25% capacity with no group fitness classes, pool activity or use of showers.  Masks must be worn at-all-times with social distancing of 12 feet at gyms.
  • Youth sports will resume practices on January 4.
  • Elementary schools (K-5) can conditionally open to in-person learning starting on January 18, 2021. It is the Governor’s goal to get back to in-person learning and the state will purchase PPE for schools, teachers, etc.  
  • Outdoor dining allowed at 50% capacity, up to 100 people, seated only, only 4 per party/table.  50% of the walls must remain open for airflow.  Food trucks fine but people must sit down to eat.

Additionally, Walz will be signing a $216 million Business Relief Package into law. 

MN Legislature Passes Business Assistance Package

The Minnesota legislature has passed a business assistance package in response to COVID-19 impacts which includes approximately $217 million to the General Fund in FY21 and about $25 million in FY22. Its provisions include three business relief components: 

  • Business Assistance Grants 
  • Unemployment Insurance Extension  
  • Hospitality Industry Waiver of Certain Fees 
Continue reading “MN Legislature Passes Business Assistance Package”

Greater Mankato Growth Signs on to Minnesota Ready Coalition Letter

MN2030_logo_10Greater Mankato Growth has partnered with the Minnesota Ready Coalition lead by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to call on Governor Tim Walz to provide immediate support to those businesses and their employees most impacted by the issuance of Executive Order 20-99.  Greater Mankato Growth joined 90 partner chambers and associations across the state in sending the Governor a letter this week regarding the urgency in supporting these businesses/organizations.  Our organization continues to follow and educate members on proposed relief plans and take action to support local businesses through a variety of initiatives. Continue reading “Greater Mankato Growth Signs on to Minnesota Ready Coalition Letter”

What We Know about the Proposed MN State Relief Packages

Update: Details of the final relief bill have not yet been announced. A special session is expected to take place on December 14, 2020 and state leaders are optimistic that legislators will be able to work out an agreement by that time.

MN State Government leaders announced two proposed relief packages for businesses and individuals who have been impacted by the recent shutdown and COVID-19 in general. Legislators are still working through the details of both packages with a final relief package expected to be released on December 1. Greater Mankato Growth will share additional information as soon as it becomes available.

Here’s what we know about the Governor’s proposed package:

  1. Direct relief through the Minnesota Department of Revenue is planned for all 14,000 businesses affected by the shutdown.
    • Details on this are not specific, but Governor Walz referenced direct payments to businesses and waiver of regulatory fees. Governor Walz also called for a moratorium on eviction for small businesses.
  2. Extension of unemployment benefits by 13 weeks to individuals who have been on long-term unemployment.
  3. Direct payments of $500 to families receiving MFIP or DWP benefits.
  4. A one time grant is being proposed for restaurants to supply healthcare workers, homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities.
  5. Proposed tax credit for businesses that donate food that would otherwise spoil or be thrown away.

Continue reading “What We Know about the Proposed MN State Relief Packages”

MN Governor Announces Dial Back on Social Activities

Today, Governor Tim Walz announces Executive Order 20-99 taking effect on Friday, November 20 at 11:59 p.m. (CST). 

In general, key points from the Governor’s announcement include: 

Continue reading “MN Governor Announces Dial Back on Social Activities”

Governor Walz Announces Changes to Social Setting Limitations

Today, Governor Tim Walz announced Executive Order 20-96 (click the link for full details) , taking effect on Friday, November 13 at 10 p.m. (CST).  The announcement amends Executive Order 20-74 with specific steps for social gatherings and guidelines for bars and restaurants. 

In general, the order calls for the following measures: 

  • Limits all social gatherings (indoor or outdoor) to 10 people and all social gatherings involving members of more than 3 households (regardless of the size of the gathering). 
  • Bars, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, taverns, brewery taprooms, wineries, golf courses and clubs, dining clubs, tobacco shops, and other places of public accommodation offering food, beverages, tobacco products for on-premises consumption, are required to close by 10 p.m. every day, starting Friday, November 13. Delivery service, or curbside pick up options already in place for certain industries in this group is still allowed. 
  • Venues that host celebrations, receptions, and gatherings will be capped at 50 people, effective November 27 at 10 p.m. 
  • No bar seating service.
  • This figure is reduced to 25 people on December 11 at 10 p.m.  

The Governor also announced a proposal for $10 million in additional funding to businesses that have already applied for relief through the Small Business Relief Grant Program.  This program provides $10,000 grants to impacted businesses. 

Update on Greater Mankato Growth’s Restaurant Advocacy Efforts


Over the past several months, Greater Mankato Growth has been at the table on behalf of it’s members participating in weekly calls with the Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) officials to obtain first-hand information, advocate, ask questions and provide feedback from the Greater Mankato region.

Most recently, our organization began participating in calls specifically focused on issues surrounding the restaurant/hospitality industry.  To best understand the needs of this industry locally, we have convened two listening sessions with restaurant/hospitality members and continuing these as needed to learn more and bring forward local concerns to State officials as well as determine what we can do to be supportive here in our community.

On October 16, Greater Mankato Growth sent a letter to Governor Walz respectfully sharing direct feedback from members in this industry in addition to asking for partnership, further action and support.  You can view the letter here.

Our advocacy efforts will continue and if you would like to help share messaging and/or provide local testimonials supporting our businesses, please contact Jaci Sprague at for more details.

Haven’t Voted Yet? – Check Our Election Resources

With four days left to election day, we would like to remind area voters that there are resources available to help you vote at Our website has election resources that can help you determine where and how to vote and can help you decide between candidates, if you have not done so already. Our website contains candidate questionnaires ranging from local races to the race for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. In addition, you can find saved recordings of the candidate forums that we hosted as well as links to forums hosted by other organizations in our community.

Important! A recent decision by the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that all mail in ballots received after 8pm on Election Day must be set aside, with the expectation that a future ruling will invalidate those votes. We are encouraging all voters with outstanding absentee ballots to submit those ballots in person.


Continue reading “Haven’t Voted Yet? – Check Our Election Resources”

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”

MN Chamber Virtual D.C. Fly-in

This year’s Minnesota Chamber of Commerce “fly-in” is a virtual opportunity for business leaders to raise the visibility of Minnesota in our nation’s capital while exploring key issues integral to growing Minnesota’s economy and receive a timely update on business issues surrounding the pandemic. Participating business leaders have the opportunity to advocate and promote their own priorities with federal elected officials. All members of the Minnesota delegation have been invited and participants will have a chance to meet with their member of Congress by district in breakout sessions. The event will also feature key officials and agencies, and a trusted pollster, who can update on this year’s critical elections. Continue reading “MN Chamber Virtual D.C. Fly-in”