What does tomorrow bring, you ask? We just don’t know. I’m retreating to one of the 5 “rules” I have posted at my desk. #3 is, “when you don’t know what’s coming, just do the next right thing.” This past weekend, that meant turning off my computer and getting outside for a walk. What a fabulous weekend it was! I’m not alone in that my steps are down and my screen time is up – if that’s even possible. I'm newly committing to something outdoors to get my blood moving. It’s too beautiful not to!
On my Sunday stroll, I was thinking about how we’re connecting right now, the collision between our personal and professional selves. I kind of like it. On a call this morning, one mom clearly was balancing the needs of a young child in the background. On another, we were talking about my love for quilting, and on a third we were talking about how fun it is to see everyone’s home work environments. I like getting to know you more, better, and in new ways!
TODAY’S SHOUT-OUTS, #BusinessDoingGood
Afro Deli is expanding its free kids’ meal program and has asked for help getting the word out to all who could benefit from their free meal program for school-age kids (K-12, ages 18 and under). They sevre free meals in both Saint Paul and Minneapolis locations. Hours: Saint Paul 10:30am – 2pm. Minneapolis 10:30am – 6pm.
PPP and EIDL re-funded. SBA began taking applications again today. The SBA also is providing guidance to lenders to manage demand and ensure access. Info on www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection. If you are looking for a lender to assist with a PPP application, they are listed at www.sba.gov/mn.
LISC Small Business Relief Grant:deadline is Tuesday, 4/28, at midnight. Nonprofits are ineligible.
On Friday, during the Governor’s media briefing:
The Governor forecasted that mid-week this week, he will have an announcement about how things will operate in Minnesota after May 4th, which is when the current Stay at Home Order expires. Many believe he could extend the Stay at Home Order while simultaneously opening up additional businesses, though that is speculation at this point. He did state today that small shops are likely next on the list of those that can re-open, with bars and restaurants further down the list.
The Governor shared that he had spoken with Vice President Pence and Dr. Birx, the Trump Administration’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, about getting federal assistance to Minnesota’s meatpacking plants. He said that he felt confident that Pence heard and understood the message. VP Pence will be coming to Minnesota to visit the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Tuesday, April 28.
The Governor announced that DEED is beginning to make payments to self-employed people and independent contractors under the new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Minnesota is one of the first states in the country to implement the entire federal CARES Act and provide this direct support to Minnesotans during this pandemic.
In connection with the current vacancy on the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Governor announced the four recommended candidates from the merit selection panel: Judge Diane Bratvold, Judge Jeffrey Bryan, John Keller, and Judge Gordon Moore. The Governor and Lt. Governor Flanagan will interview the candidates soon and will announce their selection in May.
Governor Walz also announced the launch of a new COVID-19 testing website that will help Minnesotans find their closest testing location. The new website provides easy access to search for local testing sites and an interactive screening tool to help determine if they need a test. I went on the website this morning and, in the counties of Ramsey, Washington, Dakota and Hennepin at least, in order to receive a test you need to be symptomatic or in contacted with someone who has the virus.
When asked about his sense of the state’s readiness as it relates to surge capacity and PPE supplies, the Governor was willing to say that he is “guardedly optimistic.” The PPE chain is becoming more clarified. As of yet, however, elective procedures are still not resuming.
Over the weekend, the Governor released EO 20-46, authorizing out-of-state health care professionals to assist in coronavirus hot spots during our peacetime state of emergency.
Considering re-opening your business? Go to www.mn.gov/deed/safework. Guidance, FAQs for both business and workers, all hosted there.
The latest story regarding impacts of COVID-19: will colleges and universities reopen in the Fall? Schools at all levels are facing a potentially devastating financial toll – in the tens of millions of dollars. As Minnesota Higher Ed Commissioner Dennis Olson puts it, “the longer this goes, the deeper the hole. We may never go back to traditional higher-ed models as we know them today.”
According to a NY Times opinion piece this past weekend, college campus must reopen. They will “crumble without it.”
Check out our Events page for webinars and events being held across the community to help businesses navigate during this pandemic. When we know about it, we post it!
COVID-19 update, 4/27/2020 Confirmed cases in Minnesota: from 3,185 to 3,816 Confirmed cases in U.S. (as of 4/24): over 869,000 Confirmed cases globally (as of 4/24): over 2.7M Cases requiring hospitalization: from 756 to 861 #s currently hospitalized: from 278 to 292 #s no longer needing to be isolated: from 1,594 to 1,842 #s tested: from 53,787 to 61,268 Total deaths in Minnesota: from 221 to 286 Total deaths in U.S. (updated 4/24): almost 50,000 Total deaths globally (updated 4/24): over 191,000 Counties represented: Hennepin County: from 1,200 to 1,416 Ramsey County: from 247 to 297 Dakota County: from 136 to 144 Washington County: from 107 to 114