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.

Commissioner Steve Grove shared additional resources encouraging small businesses to work with their local Small Business Development Center (Mankato’s SBDC can be found at myminnesotabusiness.com) for free small business consulting and for individuals to utilize careerforcemn.com for job search assistance and workforce development training programs. Finally Commissioner Grove announced the intention to launch a statewide campaign called Get Takeout MN to encourage people to get takeout.

The full stream of the announcement by the Governor & state legislators can be found here.

Here’s what we know about the House Republican Package, titled the “Main Street Relief Act”:

  1. A $400 million grant program for businesses who have been impacted most by the recent executive orders.  This program would be administered through the counties.
  2. A three-month tax holiday for businesses that have been limited to takeout or curbside-only operations, and a three-month sales tax holiday that begins upon reopening for businesses that are currently mandated to be closed
  3. Temporarily doubling the current cap for takeout beer, wine and liquor sales.  In addition, granting flexibility to breweries and others to sell their product in containers up to 64-ounces.
  4. Waiving the state fee for establishments who sell alcohol until 2 a.m.  Legislators also encourage cities and counties to work to provide as much relief as possible from liquor and other license fees collected at the local level.
  5. Opening fitness centers & gyms.

Greater Mankato Growth will share information with details on the final package as soon as we have them.