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.

The 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...

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 موقع إلكتروني for businesses to reference on safely returning to work, including FAQs.In general, the order:

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 [email protected]. 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.

Can your business use recycled products? There may be up to $250,000 in grant funding available for you.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has just released an RFP for applications for the Recycling Market Development Grant. This grant is designed to help increase the demand for recycled goods by increasing the capacity of companies that perform further processing on those goods. This includes companies who perform intermediary processing of recycled goods as well as companies that use recycled goods as a component in their final product. Grant awards range from $50,000 to $250,000 and must be matched by a contribution of 25% of the total grant amount. This contribution can be made in staff time or as a cash contribution. This is a competitive grant with $400,000 available in total funding. While all users of recycled materials are encouraged to apply a preference of 10 points out of 100 is given to any companies creating an increased demand for mixed paper (54), glass, or organic material.

While it is important for any interested applicants to read all of the documents listed on the grant web page and the full RFP document, we have highlighted some key components of the grant below.

The Small Business Development Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato is hosting a live webinar about opportunities for small businesses in the CARES Act. Register to attend here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-cares-act-what-does-it-mean-for-small-businesses-tickets-102186472490 ...