Greater Mankato Growth Blog

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.

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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: 

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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

FromTheDome

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 jsprague@greatermankato.com 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 GreaterMankatoElections.com. 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.

TRACK YOUR BALLOT: https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx

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Recently Released PPP Loan Forgiveness Updates

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

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. Read More

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. Read More

Payroll Deferral Guidance from the U.S. Chamber

The following blog was shared by the US Chamber of Commerce with its members regarding the recent changes to the payroll tax.

On Friday evening, August 28, the IRS released its first notice regarding implementation of the President’s executive order on payroll tax deferral. The document, which is just over two pages, can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-65.pdf.

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Grants for Nicollet County Businesses

Nicollet County CARES funding is being used to provide assistance to small for-profit and not-for-profit businesses in Nicollet County adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of up to $10,000 will be provided for eligible expenses to:

  • Businesses without employees (self-employed persons, sole proprietors, independent contractors, homebased business, etc.):  Grants of up to $5,000.
  • Businesses with 1-20 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees in addition to the owner:  Grants of up to $10,000.

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Free PPE Supplies for Nicollet County Businesses

masksYour business or non-profit may be eligible to receive supplies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Funds to procure health and safety supplies are available as a part of the CARES stimulus package through Nicollet County.

Distribution of supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) will depend on available supply and community needs. The first application submission deadline is August 21, 2020. The county expects to offer additional weekly applications and distribution opportunities in early September. Please check back to their website for updates:  https://www.co.nicollet.mn.us/800/Nicollet-County-CARES

Eligibility overview: Read More

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

Governor Walz Announces Statewide Indoor Mask Mandate

FromTheDomeToday Governor Walz announced a new EO-20-81-Final implementing a statewide requirement to wear facial coverings when inside indoor businesses and indoor public settings. This requirement will be effective beginning July 25. You can find general information and FAQs on the mask mandate here. In addition, below are FAQs provided by the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development relating specifically to business questions. Read More