Restaurant Revitalization Fund – Be Prepared to Apply Monday at 11 a.m.

Greater Mankato Growth participated in the U.S. Small Business Administration webinar on April 28th to learn more about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and its application process. In short, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund will allow restaurants, bars, and other similar entities (a full list of eligible entities can be found here) to receive a grant that covers all lost revenue in 2020 compared to 2019. Please note special rules apply to entities that opened after January 1, 2019 or that still haven’t opened. This blog post will first share how to apply and will then share additional details on the specifics regarding the program.

The SBA will open up the opportunity to create an account at restaurants.sba.gov this Friday at 8 a.m. Central Time by choosing “Register to start your application.” Applicants are strongly encouraged by the SBA to create their accounts on Friday and not to wait until Monday. The opportunity to submit an application will open on Monday, May 3, at 11 a.m. Central Time. The SBA holds that the website is designed to support expected traffic with all restaurants submitting applications at that time. Applicants are strongly encouraged by the SBA to submit their application at the first possible minute. Additionally, applicants are encouraged to review all documentation at the SBA’s webpage on the fund. Please note that a recording of the SBA webinar can be viewed at the end of the “How to Apply” section of this blog.

Edit: 4/29/2021 The SBA’s Restaurant Program Knowledge Database serves as a growing list of FAQs that may answer questions that you have specific to your business.

How to Apply

The first step applicants should take is registering (creating a login account) at restaurants.sba.gov on Friday at 8 a.m. Applicants that plan to submit their application via the point of sale (POS) providers Square or Toast do not need to register. Entities utilizing Clover or Aloha should still register. The only requirement when registering on Friday is that applicants must have a mobile phone as a text will be utilized to verify the login.

It’s key for applicants to to begin preparations ahead of the when the application process opens Monday May 3, at 11 a.m. Applicants can prepare by following instructions below, reading the program guide, having all documentation prepared in labeled PDFs, and completing the sample application. Applicants that have conducted this pre-work are expected to complete the application in roughly 25 minutes. The SBA encourages that restaurants that seek to apply should be prepared to submit their application in the first possible minute after the portal opens. The website currently handles more traffic than is expected on Monday and is not expected to crash.

Continue reading “Restaurant Revitalization Fund – Be Prepared to Apply Monday at 11 a.m.”

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.

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”

Identifying the Root Cause of Issues at your Company

Over the last several months, businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 in many ways. Some industries have been impacted more severely than others. Across the board, businesses have had to act and adjust like never before. Joe Paulsen with Pinnacle Business Traction would like to help you with ensuring that your company has the Traction it needs to overcome current and future challenges.The following is part five of a guest blog series where Joe will share tips on how you can gain traction in difficult times.  

Great companies are very good at solving their issues.  They don’t conceal them or run away from them.  They actually look for and encourage Issues because they know that they can solve them.  The only issues they can’t solve are the ones they don’t know about.  During the last ten months, Issues have been coming at us at an alarming pace.  You can’t solve them all and some are more impactful than others.  It is important to keep them in perspective by prioritizing the ones that must be solved and holding off on the ones that can wait to be solved the following week or quarter.  Once you have prioritized the most urgent issues, we need to drill down to get to the root cause.  

Many times when an issue is brought out, we discuss, explain, defend, commiserate, tell stories, but we rarely identify the true root cause of the issue.  This is typically what consumes our time in our meetings and we never get around to actually solving the issue.  I.D.S. is the EOS® Issues Solving Track™ that instills the discipline necessary to first Identify the root cause.  This step will take more time at the front end, but it will ultimately save you time because your team won’t get distracted focusing on symptoms and telling stories that may not be relevant to the real issue.  Once the root cause is Identified, then we move to Discussion.  This ensures that everyone’s voice has been heard and to ensure that we are focused on the most probable root cause.  Once there is agreement on the most probable root cause, we now list all possible Solutions.  

Joe Paulsen (Meet Joe) and Pinnacle Business Traction’s passion is to Enrich the Lives of Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders in the Mankato area.  He has been implementing EOS since 2016 and has helped over 35 entrepreneurial organizations get everything they want from their organizations.  Please reach out to him if you are wanting more information or assistance.  joe@pbtraction.com 

GMG is offering the best-selling book Traction – Get a Grip on Your Business to members wanting to learn more about the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Please email jconsidine@greatermankato.com to schedule a time to pick-up your free copy at the GMG office.

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”

GMG Q1 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 recently 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 1 report.

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Launch of the Business Walk

Yesterday, volunteers from the City Center Partnership’s Business Development Committee helped launch a “best practice” for Business Retention and Expansion from the International Economic Development Council.  The Business Walk is pretty much what it sounds like.  Trained volunteers visit with business owners about their business, learn about their products and services, and compile any ideas or concerns.  Greater Mankato Growth staff will follow up and connect the business owner to the appropriate resource.

Most importantly, the visit is a “Thank You” to the business owner for their investment into the community.  Each business was provided a Marketplace Analysis of the City Center that includes a list of resources for business owners.

Over the coming year, Business Walks will be scheduled for different neighborhoods of the City Center.  Neighborhoods will receive a letter which shares when the volunteers will be in their neck of the woods.

If you’re interested in visit from Greater Mankato Growth staff to talk about resources or information, please email jconsidine@greatermankato.com

 

Workforce Shortage

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Our economy is facing a critical workforce shortage.

Over the next five years, employers – already struggling to fill open positions – will see this challenge accelerate due to the confluence of an aging workforce, a diminishing worker pool and the need to fuel an anticipated 20 percent growth in new employment due to economic growth.
Greater Mankato Growth convened a talent task force which is charged with initiating a collective community response, stemming from a framework of strategic priorities. The Talent Task Force will share this framework at the summit as the guiding document.
Continue reading “Workforce Shortage”

Why You Need to Grow Your Personal Brand and It’s Not to Land a New Job

Business owners rarely see a reason to build on things like their LinkedIn profiles. “I’m not looking for a job.”, is a common response when asked why they don’t have one. But in today’s uber-competitive business climate, where even mom and pops are potentially competing on a global level, it’s more important than ever to be able to differentiate your business, and yourself, from the competition. This is done through personal branding. Continue reading “Why You Need to Grow Your Personal Brand and It’s Not to Land a New Job”

Eight Ways to Get Noticed on Social Media Today

8 Ways to Get Noticed on Social MediaThere’s a lot of noise on the social media channels and getting noticed can seem a task akin to pushing a large boulder up an icy slope in gale-force winds blowing down off of the mountain. But it’s not as hard as you think. Here are several tips to help you get your business noticed today. Continue reading “Eight Ways to Get Noticed on Social Media Today”