It should be a beautiful weekend; I hope you can enjoy it – get out and get moving! I am turning into a solid, sitting at my dining room table all day. My bike is calling…
This was a very busy week of updates, so let’s get to it.
First on everyone’s minds: when will Minnesota “re-open”? Executive Order 20-33 directed DEED, DLI and MDH to work together on a plan for businesses to re-open. Just this afternoon Governor Walz issued Executive Order-38 that expands outdoor recreation opportunities such as golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, and hiking --as long as Minnesotans follow new outdoor recreation guidelines.
Yesterday, Wisconsin extended its SAH Order through May 26. Were I a betting person, I’d bet that Governor Walz will extend the SAH Order at least to May 13, to align with the peacetime emergency declaration through-date. The partnership with other Midwest states announced on Thursday may impact his decision. That said, I’m watching the state’s legislators – led by the Republicans – really pressure the Governor to release us sooner. Your guess is as good as mine as to how this timing will play out.
You Can Help. As part of EO 20-33, DEED has provided an online form for individuals and business to share their experiences with and ideas for practicing social distancing in the workplace. Please submit yours: they need our help determining how best to move forward.
Legislature has passed – and the Governor will sign (likely today) take-out alcohol at restaurants. Great news!
On April 16, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched the Save Small Business Fund, a grant program to provide assistance to small businesses owners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the Foundation will distribute $5,000 grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities in the United States and its territories. Eligibility is based on your zip code. The grant application will go live on Monday, April 20 at 2:00 PM CDT. To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund and to apply for a grant, Learn more at www.savesmallbusiness.com.
On April 16, U.S. SBA closed applications for PPP and EIDL because all funding has been committed. Discussions continue in Congress about a potential 4th funding package, but I have no current updates on that. How did Minnesota do? As of April 13:
more than 33,800 PPP loans were approved
average loan size was $225,000
that totals approximately $7.6 billion
Minnesota ranks 3rd in loan dollars per capita for this program
overall, Minnesota ranks 8th in total loan dollars, and 9th in number of loans.
much of our success in getting this much for Minnesota businesses can be attributed to the tireless and collective action of our state’s lending network, resource partners, elected officials, organizations providing educational resources. We are grateful!
On April 15, Minnesota became the first state in the country to institute the 13-week extension of UI benefits from the CARES Act. This is in addition to the $600/month bump.
Unemployment update: although Pandemic UI program has been created, no state has yet implemented it due to the body of work required to get such a program running. DEED is working on it and payments will be retroactive to 3/20/2020. As of 4/14, 14% of the state’s labor force is receiving UI benefits.
Saint Paul’s Bridge Fund application window closes this Sunday, April 19 at 5pm. As of April 16, 4799 families and 1794 businesses had applied. You still have time, get your applications in here.
COVID-19 update, 4/17/2020 Confirmed cases in Minnesota: from 1,809 to 2,071 Confirmed cases in U.S. (as of 4/17): almost 699,000 Confirmed cases globally (as of 4/17): over 2.23M Cases requiring hospitalization: from 445 to 518 #s currently hospitalized: from 197 to 223 #s no longer needing to be isolated: from 940 to 1,066 #s tested: from 43,053 Total deaths in Minnesota: from 87 to 111 Total deaths in U.S. (updated 4/15): close to 37,000 Total deaths globally (updated 4/17): over 153,000 Counties represented: Hennepin County: from 651 to 806 Ramsey County: from 164 to 178 Dakota County: from 103 to 110 Washington County: from 88 to 92
Unemployment (as of 4/14): Total Unemployment Insurance applications since 03/16/2020: 440,000
Past three weeks have seen steadily decreasing weekly totals applications
Last week Minnesota was the first state in the country to issue the $600 “top off” payments for Unemployment Insurance
Current unemployment level is at approximately 11%
As always, you can find more information on our COVID-19 Resource page as well as links to partner organization resource pages and an for more information an archive of my previous Situation Reports.
Know that we continue to work with our partners to organize information and coordinate efforts to educate our community. As always, if you still have questions about resources available, contact our Rapid Response Team to assist you in finding an answer.
B Kyle President/CEO Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce