We’re well into this “New Normal,” aren’t we? Fully three months since mid-March, when – for the U.S. – our world began to change. Of course this is defined by, well, nothing being “normal.” As we look ahead, the good news is that more granting opportunities continue to be available. Just this past weekend the Legislature approved $60M in new funding for the smallest of our businesses. To organize the opportunities in my head, I thought I’d lay them all out – maybe they will be a help to you as well:
Legislative granting of $60M: details TBD, coordinating with DEED to ensure we get information out ASAP.
Ramsey County Small Business Relief Fund (SBRF): applications closed June 12.
LISC Small Business Relief Grants: Applications, Grant Information Overview and FAQ can be found here.
The Neighbors United Collaborative Fund: finalizing application process. Click herefor more information (or to donate).
We ❤ St. Paul/Midway Fund: still in fundraising mode, finalizing application process. Donate now at www.WeLoveStPaul.com.
We ❤ Lake Street fund: finalizing application process and rolling up into partnership with Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition. Donate now at www.welovelakestreet.com/
And one final request, for us chambers. As all of us work so hard to serve the small business community, especially now, I’d ask you to consider the following: our partners at ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) have launched a new sign-on letter urging Congress to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program to 501(c)(6) organizations. We don’t expect to see action to expand eligibility to PPP until the next major legislative package. Good news is that (c)(6) eligibility should be on the table given that it was included in the proposal passed by the House. Bad news is that passage of the fourth COVID-19 stimulus bill could be weeks away. Let's keep up our messaging with our lawmakers. Please consider signing on to ASAE’s letter before June 22.
Beginning today, June 15, the Pop-Up Café’ at CHS Field is open for lunch so diners can enjoy one of the more unique outdoor seating areas in the state. The Café is open seven days a week from 11 AM – 2 PM with tables set up on the concourse of the ballpark near the front gates located on Broadway Street. Capacity and seating will abide by social distancing guidelines. Guests are required to Make A Reservation!
I highlighted TST Catering earlier this Spring, because, in the midst of their own business seizing up, they have reached out to serve others – to Pay It Forward through meal donations. To date, they have donated over 2,400 meals and discounted nearly 3,000 more to those in need, including hospital staff, first responders, and struggling families. That represents more than 350 meals per employee thus far! Now we can return the blessing by visiting their “Pay It Forward” Patio, which opens today, Monday, June 15th, at Ideal Hall. They are converting part of their parking lot into a beautiful, unique outdoor space perfect for a great meal or gathering space complete with drinks! They will be open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays.
Monday’s Briefing, 2:00pm: MDH Commissioner Malcolm, Director Kris Ehresmann
Moving forward, these updates will be M-W-F
Pace of this disease growth in MN may be plateauing.
# currently hospitalized fell to 353, 40% lower than May
Daily in ICU remains at 186, holding stable and below peak from late May.
Today’s numbers represent the third day of decline after three days of increases we saw last week. Reflects the up and down waves mentioned last week.
Notably, last time we had case growth this low was April 26, when we had 214 cases test positive on a volume of 2200 tests. The 230 cases yesterday were on a testing volume of over 5K tests.
Rate of deaths per day now is lower than mid-April.
ICU bed use from COVID-19 continues to decline over last 4 days.
Hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to decline over last 6 days.
Testing: we have noted importance of test positivity rate as one of the metrics.
7-day rolling average now is 3.5%.
Has dropped each day from 4.3% a week ago.
Last week, community testing sites were set up to test participants of the civil unrest:
3200 people tested over Tues and Wed of last week at the 4 community-based sites. Rate was 1.8% positive.
Partners have tested 8500 asymptomatic people through their expanded testing sites opened up, 1% positive rate.
Community testing will continue this week.
Friday’s Update from the Governor
EO 20-75 issued Fri, Jun 12: extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency declared in EO 20-01 through July 13, 2020.
MN legislators approve $60M to help small businesses hit hard by coronavirus pandemic From Pioneer Press, June 12: The Minnesota Legislature voted Friday to send more than $60 million in grants to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that employ 50 full-time workers or less will be eligible for grants of up to $10,000, if they demonstrate financial hardship as a result of shut-downs due to the coronavirus. Includes $18M for businesses with fewer than 6 employees; $2.5M for veteran-owned businesses; $2.5M for vendors in cultural malls. Awards will be by lottery.
Friday marked the first day of the special legislative session called by Governor Walz earlier last week. While the special session has been anticipated for some time, the scope has rapidly evolved. The Governor’s original plan was to call a special session to extend his emergency powers and complete unfinished legislative work. This morphed into a much larger agenda after the death of George Floyd.
The duration of this special session is unknown. Typically, Governors demand agreement from leaders on substantive issues and meeting time frames before calling a special session. This time is different. The Governor was forced call it in order to extend his emergency powers an additional 30 days. At this time the four major caucuses have no agreement with each other nor with the Governor on scope, duration, or key issues to be addressed. Further complicating matters is the fact that, once called into special session, only the Legislature can decide when to adjourn.
Speaker Hortman and the House Democrats have called for extensive legislative work on police reform. This could require a robust committee process lasting several weeks with or without a path to legislative agreement. The Speaker has indicated such a session could last until the 4th of July. The Senate, on the other hand, is much less ambitious. Republican Leader Gazelka and Public Safety Chair Limmer announced Friday that the Senate would take up some police reform measures that have broad agreement, like a ban on choke holds by police officers, but stated they’re only likely to remain in session until this Friday, June 19. Gazelka added that he specifically wants to give lawmakers enough time to negotiate a bonding bill.
On Friday, the Governor issued another 30 day extension of the Peacetime Emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This is a controversial move, and during Friday’s debates in the House and Senate, GOP members spent considerable time attempting to end the Peacetime Emergency. Proponents of lifting it argued the powers were no longer necessary, have continued too long and have taken away legislators’ ability to engage in the response effort. Opponents argued the Governor still needs the power to react to the evolving situation, and noted that 54 out of 55 US states and territories still have emergency powers in place for their Governors. The Senate passed a resolution to end the emergency, with a couple Democrats joining in. The resolution was defeated in the House, however. Since it takes an affirmative vote of both bodies to end an emergency declaration, the Peacetime Emergency will stay in effect. If Walz chooses to extend it again in mid-July, he will need to call the Legislature back, since the law requires they be in session when he does so.
On Saturday, the House Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on various police reform proposals.
On Sunday, Minnesota House DFL and GOP members visited Saint Paul’s University Avenue and the East Side to hear from businesses impacted by the civil unrest. This was followed by a listening session with lawmakers at Big Top (544 University Ave W, St Paul) in the Midway.
Minnesota Democrats push for police reform while Republicans prioritize coronavirus response From Pioneer Press, June 13: The Minnesota House’s Public Safety Committee on Saturday held an hours-long hearing on a laundry list of bills to reform policing and criminal justice in the state. Proponents of the bills say the state should harness the energy of protesters and activists in the wake of Floyd’s death to make legislative change now, but Senate Republicans on Friday said they are focusing their time to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout, as well as ceasing Gov. Tim Walz’s executive emergency powers and passing a bonding bill.
CALLING ALL RESIDENTS OF RAMSEY COUNTY: Help Shape Ramsey County's Future Economic Development. What would Ramsey County look like if economic development was truly inclusive and equitable? What ideas do you have to make our county a better place to live, work, play, and visit?
REGISTER | COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT FORUMS, JUNE 22-25, 2020
TAKE THE SURVEY | Learn More: Provide valuable feedback regarding the issues, challenges, and possible solutions for Ramsey County. Help shape the context for ideation and strategy design.
SHARE YOUR IDEAS | Help Make Ramsey County Better: Use this forum to raise issues or share ideas about your community that would make Ramsey County a better place to live, work, play, and visit. Share Now
Let's Save Small Businesses! Business4Business MSP Regional Coalition: MSP Counties and Private Sector Leaders Unite to Support Small Businesses recovering from COVID-19 pandemic A broad alliance of Twin Cities counties, chambers of commerce, community development agencies and other partners are building a local support network to help small businesses survive and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges facing our small business community. The Business4Business Minneapolis-Saint Paul (B4B MSP) coalition will connect small businesses with local resources from public agencies and private sector partners, including technical and financial assistance to provide immediate relief.Learn more about B4B MSP and how to support small businesses in our region
More financial relief planned for MSP airport shops and restaurants From Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, June 12: Travelers are beginning to return to the air, but slowly, so the Metropolitan Airport Commission is planning a second round of relief for the concessionaries that operate inside the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Mayo refines COVID-19 antibody test From ROCHESTER POST BULLETIN, June 11: Mayo Clinic on Thursday, June 11 announced it had developed a refinement of its serological test for COVID-19.
COVID-19 update as of 6/15/2020 Confirmed cases in Minnesota: 30,693 Confirmed cases in U.S. (as of 6/15): over $2.1M Confirmed cases globally (as of 6/15): almost 8M Cases requiring hospitalization: 3,630 (representing 11.9% of total) #s currently hospitalized: 353 (down from 411 on 6/11) #s no longer needing to be isolated: 26,609 #s tested: 422,922 Total deaths in Minnesota: 1,304 (1,034/79.3% cases in long term care or assisted living facilities) Total deaths in U.S. (updated 6/15): almost 116K Total deaths globally (updated 6/15): over $434K Cases in Counties represented: Hennepin County: 10,281 (720 deaths) Ramsey County: 3,992 (190 deaths) Dakota County: 1,730 (74 deaths) Washington County: 799 (37 deaths)
See available SBA COVID-19 traininghere. Of special interest: Insurance for Small Businesses, June 17, 9am Hosted by the SBA, University of Minnesota Law School professors, law students and expert lawyers are coming together to support small businesses in understanding the legal side of business insurance in uncertain times. Registration is limited for this free workshop. Register Now