Greater Mankato Growth Blog

Nicollet County Property Tax Penalty Waived Through July 15 for Qualifying Taxpayers

nicollet county logoThe late payment penalty for first-half property taxes for qualifying Nicollet County property owners who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis has been waived from May 15 to July 15, 2020. Read More

Property Tax Deferral

property taxOn behalf of our business community, Greater Mankato Growth has been in discussions with County leadership in both Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties regarding concern we’ve heard from several business owners that they will have difficulty making their May 15 property tax payment. Discussions have focused on how counties could waive late payment penalties for property taxes in a way that targets the businesses most impacted, while also not jeopardizing the fiscal stability of our county, city and school district partners. On Tuesday this week both the Nicollet and Blue Earth County Boards will consider property tax deferral options. Read More

GMG Webinar: COVID-19 Paid Leave & EFMLA – Answering Employer Questions

2018_Forum SeriesWith the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, employers were required to implement two new federal paid leave programs. However, employers continue to have many questions on the law, including which businesses are exempt and which circumstances are covered under the new Emergency Paid Leave and Extended Family and Medical Leave Act. GMG will host a webinar on May 7 at 10am where our expert presenter from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division will discuss employer’s obligations under the law and answer your questions. Read More

Unemployment For Self-Employed & Independent Contractors Implemented In Minnesota Under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

FromTheDomeThe unemployment program for self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and other eligible recipients who cannot receive regular unemployment benefits is available beginning today according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Program details:

  • According to the state, if you already applied for regular unemployment benefits there is nothing more you need to do to qualify and a benefit account will automatically be established for you if you are eligible
  • DEED will be in touch with those eligible for the program by the end of April
  • Recipients will receive the additional $600 per week federal bump
  • Benefits are retroactive to when you first became eligible due to COVID-19
  • Expect to receive information about benefits either in the mail, by email, or in your online account
  • If you have not applied for benefits click here for further instructions

More information can be found here.

Partial Return to Work for Some Non-Critical Sectors Announced

FromTheDomeGovernor Tim Walz on April 23 announced his strategy for how his administration will approach planning for the development of a comprehensive framework that will reopen Minnesota’s economy in phases.

The first step in that process is the issuance of Executive Order 20-40 which begins the process of safely returning Minnesotans to work, starting with workers in non-customer facing industrial and office-based businesses who cannot work from home. Guidance on what businesses are allowed to return to work under EO 20-40 can be found here. In addition, the state has created a comprehensive and detailed website for businesses to reference on safely returning to work, including FAQs.

In general, the order: Read More

Webinar: Returning Minnesotan’s to Work – Best Practices

chamber logoThe Minnesota Chamber of Commerce will host a web series to answer your questions about returning to work. The first in this series will feature experts on employment law and testing. What legal questions will you have to consider to re-open your business’ physical space? What role will testing play in bringing employees back together? Register for this live webinar at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 23 and gather best practices from businesses who are already taking steps to ensure employee and customer safety in their workplaces.

Speakers

  • Tersea Thompson, shareholder, Fredrickson & Byron P.A.
  • Dr. Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Moderated by Doug Loon, president, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Senate Passes Bill Providing Additional Funds for Small Business

FromTheDomeThe U.S. Senate today passed an additional stimulus bill that will provide $480 billion to COVID-19 related programs, including an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. The U.S. House is expected to consider the bill tomorrow and President Trump has indicated he will sign.
The bill also includes:
  • $60 billion for smaller lending facilities, including minority depository institutions, certified development companies and credit unions;
  • $10 billion for grants under the SBA’s Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan program;
  • $50 billion for SBA disaster recovery loans;
  • $2.1 billion for additional salaries and expenses for the Small Business Administration;
  • $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers to support for Covid-19 expenses and lost revenue from canceled elective surgeries and other procedures;
  • $25 billion for research to develop, validate, manufacture, purchase and administer Covid-19 tests, including $11 billion for states to expand lab capacity.

Reopening & Recovery

Governor Walz and Minnesota leaders both in and outside of government are contemplating how to implement a return to work plan that will strike a balance between safeguarding health and protecting Minnesota’s economy. As they do so, they are looking for feedback from Minnesota’s businesses.

  • The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has launched a survey for businesses to suggest best practices for how to implement social distancing in the workplace that will enable them to reopen in a safe manner.
  • The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has published a draft template that articulates specific policies and procedures that businesses could adopt as they look to reopen safely. The template covers topics such as hygiene, cleaning, social distancing policies, screening and identification of sick employees, and communications and training plans. They are looking for feedback on this template at DLICovidPlan@state.mn.us. It seems likely that the state’s reopening plan would encourage (if not require) businesses to adopt a similar comprehensive plan for their business – so it is strongly encouraged that business leaders review this template carefully and be in a position to implement policies applicable to their workplace.
  • The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has also published a COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices Guide that businesses could implement in their workplace. They are also holding a webinar on best practices for businesses as they contemplate a return to work.

Read More

Self-employed and Independent Contractor Guide to the CARES Act

chamber guideIf you are an independent contractor or self-employed, you may be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans/grants, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and/or Unemployment Compensation for losses of income related to the coronavirus pandemic. While the PPP and EIDL programs are currently out of money, Congress is actively working to provide additional funds. This great guide to the CARES Act for Self-employed and Independent Contractors from the US Chamber of Commerce will ensure you have the information you need to take advantage of these federal programs.

Small Business Grant Opportunity

small business fundTo extend a helping hand to small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund.

The Fund is providing $5,000 in one-time supplemental cash grants for businesses that have between three and 20 employees and operate in an economically vulnerable community. In our area, this includes the 56001, 56082, 56050, 56055, and 56037 zip codes. Unfortunately it excludes the 56003, 56063, 56024, and 56034 zip codes.

The grant application will go live on Monday, April 20 at 2:00 PM CDT. The application will take about 10 minutes to complete and will only require your business’s W-9 form and basic supporting information about your business.

To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund and to apply for a grant, visit savesmallbusiness.com.

Stay at Home Order Extended

FromTheDomeGovernor Walz has extended his executive order directing Minnesotan’s to Stay at Home until May 4th. You can read the revised executive order here.

Paid Leave Flow Charts

aem-wfs-logo-6.8.35.12-003Our friends at Abdo, Eick and Meyers Workforce Solutions have created two great flowcharts to help businesses determine when and how to pay employees under the new paid leave programs in the Families First Coronavirus Response act and identifying how to calculate and apply for credits and refunds. Check them out!