Greater Mankato Growth in coordination with the Regional Economic Development parnters (Eagle Lake, Lake Crystal, Mankato, North Mankato, St. Peter, and Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties), is monitoring updates to legislation (State and Federal) which would provide resources for businesses as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
To assist Greater Mankato Growth, we are asking area businesses to complete the following survey (4 minute length) so we can continue to provide useful information to our partners and businesses: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5502344/Covid-19-and-Greater-Mankato
The following webpage will be updated with information and links as resources are developed: https://greatermankato.com/covid-19-info-resources
Below is a summary of current resources and legislation (both approved and being considered) for businesses, pertaining to COVID-19.
MN Department of Employment and Economic Development
Regular updates on available business resources from the State of Minnesota, resulting from legislation being currently drafted in St. Paul, will be posted on the following page: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/. Be sure to visit the FAQs link on the previous link for additional information.
MN Unemployment Insurance
Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the Unemployment Insurance Shared Work Program. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs – retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Workers of employers who are approved to participate in the Shared Work Program receive the percentage of their weekly UI benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced, not to exceed 60 percent. Visit Shared Work Program to learn more about its benefits for employers and employees, and how to apply.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration has resources for access to capital, exporting assistance, and other local assistance. https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
The main program they are offering is summarized below.
“The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.”
US Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a variety of resources and information pertaining to workplace tips for employees, preparedness checklists, legislation at the federal level, and business response to the virus. https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus
Federal Legislation – Families First Coronavirus Response Act
On Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) with a bipartisan vote and support from President Trump to bolster the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and address the severe impacts of the coronavirus on Americans’ personal safety and financial security. The Senate is expected to take up the legislation this week.
The legislation guarantees free coronavirus testing, enhances Unemployment Insurance, strengthens food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding to states. In addition, the legislation creates two new paid leave programs that every business under 500 employees and all government employers must implement for their employees. To be clear, the legislation has not yet passed and these provisions may change in the final bill. For more information, view the following blog post from Greater Mankato Growth: https://greatermankatoblog.com/2020/03/16/families-first-coronavirus-response-act-key-provisions-impacting-employers/