Happy Friday – again! Feels like I just said that…. Getting feedback from many of you that you’re looking for more about how we proceed moving forward. Heard! And thanks for your input. Next week we’ll pivot just a bit, moving to a Monday/Thursday format for our Sit Reps, providing more information and resources – and connections – for all of us as we adjust in this “New Normal.” We do need to continue building our community, developing those valuable connections, and provide the resources and training to help your business, too, pivot and adapt.
Always here, always listening – enjoy your weekend.
SHOUT-OUTS, #BusinessDoingGood #GiveAtHomeMN ends tonight! So far, $4M has been donated to 2,500 causes. Thank you for all you are doing to support your communities every day!
Target is sharing its COVID-19 safety tool kit, to help other retailers and businesses as they look to reopen in the coming weeks. In our April 29 Sit Rep, we celebrated Target’s partnership with MNIT and the Minnesota Safety Council in the development of their new MN Symptom Screener. They also are offering touchless infrared thermometers at wholesale cost to business owners (10,000 preorders so far!). Also as a reminder, businesses interested in purchasing an infrared thermometer can get started here. Target also continues to offer technical support to the State in terms of inventory management and warehouse/supply support.
Buy a mask, donate a mask. The St. Paul Saints are rolling out a program that assists one of their loyal partners, HealthPartners Regions Hospital, who is requiring those that enter the hospital to wear a mask. As of Thursday, you will be able to purchase reusable Saints themed face masks for just $12. For every mask purchased, the Saints will donate one to our friends at Regions Hospital. The cloth masks will be used for visitors and patients that enter the hospital. The masks will be available in three different designs: Mudonna, Plaid, and Baseball.
One excellent story today: one senior assisted care facility, a SPACC member, recently worked with Sunrise Banks to refinance their loan. Translated to over $8,000/month in savings. The property owner translated that savings into pay raises for 40 staff members daily serving their long term patients.
Today’s Updates Governor’s 2pm Media Briefings Fri, 5/8 Developing an equity resiliency working group, led by LT Gov Flanagan.
Current need is to extend the $208M COVID-19 fund. The purpose of this fund, authorized by the Legislature, is intended to protect Minnesotans and maintain state’s operations. About $65M remains, with a sunset of May 11 on the fund. Great tool, Governor is asking for extension.
Thurs, 5/7 The Governor and Commissioner Malcolm rolled out a new plan to address the outbreaks and spreading of COVID-19 in long-term care (LTC) facilities. Minnesota’s definition of a LTC facility includes nursing homes, assisted living, homeless shelters, and any other congregate living facility.
Minnesota now has over 500 deaths, and is approaching 10,000 positive cases.
Talks to other Governors daily, and it is clear that COVID strikes the elderly much harder, those with underlying conditions, or those who live in congregate care.
They detailed the plan going forward to deal with LTC facilities – reducing deaths, reducing infections. Have already been working on that, but now ready to go on the offensive.
Plan is based on best practices, and much of it is dependent on things they didn’t have 30 days ago but they have now, including: greatly expanded testing (gives opportunity to trace and isolate), PPE, and strategic state stockpile of equipment.
From Commissioner Malcolm: the number of hospital cases is doubling every 8 days or so, which helps us keep an eye on hospital capacity needs, ICU needs, and alternative care sites. The burden of COVID falls disproportionately hard on elderly and congregate care residents and staff, and we are now able to see numbers showing it hits black Minnesotans disproportionately hard as well.
Earlier This Week Ongoing concerns about voting, Legislature agrees on measures to make voting safer.
The U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7% in April, the highest since the Great Depression, as 20.5 million jobs have been lost in the worst monthly loss on record. Nearly all the job growth achieved during the 11-year recovery from the Great Recession has been lost in 1 month. Note that the vast majority of April’s losses, roughly 90%, are considered temporary.
3M plans to triple its monthly domestic production of N95, up to 96 million by October.
In the State Legislature With 10 days left in the regular legislative session, members of the House and Senate are ramping up their work in earnest. The House plans to have floor session on Saturday. Leaders have set a deadline of midnight Saturday, May 9, as the deadline for House and Senate members to have agreements on key bills.
Next week we expect to see daily floor sessions that likely will run very long, along with long periods of waiting for things to happen. Hearings and floor sessions continue to be held remotely, with very few people in the Capitol complex due to the virus.
On Thursday, the House passed the COVID-19 Economic Security Act, providing $208M over the next year to offset economic damage caused by the public health crisis and related government restrictions. Most of the money likely would come from a federal COVID-19 relief grant to the state. Its focus is on housing assistance, distance learning internet access for students, very-small-business loans, and temporary increased pay for personal care attendance serving coronavirus patients. The Senate is working on its own COVID-19 response legislation. See the Pioneer Press coverage for more information.
COVID-19 update as of 5/9/2020 Confirmed cases in Minnesota: from 8,579 to 10,088 Confirmed cases in U.S. (as of 5/8): over 1.2M Confirmed cases globally (as of 5/8): over 3.9M Cases requiring hospitalization: from 1,405 to 1,549 #s currently hospitalized: from 443 to 473 #s no longer needing to be isolated: from 5,005 to 5,697 #s tested: from 93,232 to 101,270 Total deaths in Minnesota: from 485 to 534 (434 cases in long term care or assisted living facilities) Total deaths in U.S. (updated 5/6): almost 71,000 Total deaths globally (updated 5/8): over 272,500 Cases in Counties represented: Hennepin County: from 2,764 to 3,153 (362 deaths) Ramsey County: from 656 to 800 (42 deaths) Dakota County: from 292 to 364 (12 deaths) Washington County: from 181 to 211 (12 deaths)
The interactive Minnesota COVID-19 Public Dashboard can be found here.
Thinking through how/when to return to office? For safely returning to physical locations for work, DEED has information for employers and employees. DEED is receiving questions on items not covered. Here's the link to get answers and provide feedback to help the State refine its approach.
If your small business is within ½ mile of Allianz Field, apply for a grant from the Neighbors United Funding Collaborative. This grant is specifically for small businesses within a half mile of Allianz Field with annual revenue below $3 million who are either a small business or nonprofit with a retail or service-based business model.
Target is sharing its COVID-19 safety tool kit.
North Risk Partners is offering a guide and sample plan to help you build your action plan for bringing employees back to work.
Paycheck Protection Program still has money available for organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19. Contact a participating lenders. New guidance from the SBA is released regularly on SBA's Paycheck Protection Program web page.
SBA Info: PPP Loan Update PPP FAQ Updated EIDL and Advance Open to Ag Veteran Small Business Training MN Childcare Provider Grants
Local Partner Info SBA Resource Partners are ready to help with no-cost, one-on-one business counseling regarding COVID-19. Get help from SCORE mentors via the Coronavirus Business Resource Center. The Entrepreneur Fund has COVID-19 Updates & Resources and is offering 30-minute consults with a Lender or Advisor by email or phone. WomenVenture is open, ready to help with its COVID 19 Update Hub. Visit DEED's Covid 19 webpage and is offering a Small Business Emergency Loan Program and Safely Returning to Work. WBDC/WBENC Covid 19 resources for Women Owned Businesses Minnesota COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits Info.
DLI Worker Protections Pages English Hmong Somali Spanish
Visit our events page for webinars and events and the Ramsey County Means Business page for information to help businesses navigate resources during this pandemic. If you need more personalized assistance, contact our Rapid Response Team to assist you in finding an answer.
B Kyle President/CEO Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce