So grateful for a beautiful day today, and the opportunity to get outside for some exercise. We’ve got to keep moving! Actually, that’s a great lead-in for my thoughts today. As an economy, too, we’ve got to keep moving! Each of us carries a burden unique to our situation, while as a community we share this experience of – what do we do now?
More resources are available, in light of last week’s work at the State Legislature and in Congress. Specifically at the Federal level, the CARES Act brings new programs – and serious money. Two are important to highlight: Pandemic Unemployment Insurance and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans/Grants. Links to details are listed below.
We find that businesses now are knee-deep in the sorting process – navigating among the opportunities to determine which are a match and how to get started. Many organizations like ours are building some great online programming, and SPACC is promoting all that we are tracking. Our own programming is focused on that “Knowledge Network,” helping our members determine their best next steps forward. If you can, find a steady source of information and return to that one. In our website, Ramsey County is a great resource. Check out www.ramseycountymeansbusiness.com and share this information with your employees and networks as needed.
A moment’s pause to acknowledge and thank Saint Paul’s DSI, Public Works, and PED departments: allowing for the use of established parking lanes as temporary curbside pick-up zones. It may seem like a small gesture, but this accommodation lets us know the City “sees” us and wants to support our restaurants. Thank you!
And one final note for landlords: Saint Paul’s proposed Bridge Fund will allow eligible businesses to use those funds for rent. If you own a building or are an eligible company tenanting in a building, you both should know about this opportunity. Definitely mutually beneficial.
In Minnesota, statistics jumped over the weekend.
Confirmed cases: from 398 on Friday to 576 as of Monday, 3/30
Cases requiring hospitalization: from 60 to 92
#s currently hospitalized: 56
#s no longer needing to be isolated: from 180 to 260
#s tested: from 14,003 to 18,822
Total deaths: from 4 to 10
Here is the most recent data by RealTimeTalent published Friday, outlining shifts in MN job postings across industry sectors over the last two weeks. You also will find the most recent Chmura Economics & Analytics report for all counties across MN, with the COVID-19 Economic Vulnerability Index data they just published nationally.
At the City level
To support Saint Paul’s local restaurants under the current federal and state guidelines, the City’s departments of Public Works, Planning and Economic Development, and Safety and Inspections are allowing restaurants to use established parking lanes as temporary curbside pick-up zones.
Restaurants will be able to post temporary signs for curbside pick-up areas without applying for and paying the usual permit and fees. Posted curbside pick-up signs must be able to be used by any restaurants in the area and does not reserve the parking lane space(s). “Pick Up parking” and “Open for Business” signs may be downloaded from the City’s website here.
The Saint Paul Bridge Fund scheduled to be voted on by the City Council on 4/1, will provide $7,500 grants for immediate business expenses, including but not limited to: rent/mortgage payments; employee health benefits; leave payments; and payroll. Details and eligibility is on the website.
At the State level
Unemployment Insurance has had more applications in the last 11 days than in all of 2019. DEED estimates 220,000 applications already to date.
DEED sent out an important update today, regarding applying for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Due to the increased activity, DEED is asking that *new* applicants apply online on an assigned day, based on your social security number (SSN). That application schedule is here. You can also see the DEED FAQs regarding eligibility for Critical Sector Worker Exemption.
As I reported in my email on Friday, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). It is a lot to digest, so I'll continue to share summaries of the provisions of this legislation. This week I'd like to share information from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship. They have an excellent explanation of the Act’s provisions for small businesses and a more detailed guide to those provisions.
The U.S. Chamber has also provide a Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist, to help connect you with the resources recently approved by Congress to respond to the ongoing pandemic.
Please know that if you can’t find your way through the influx of information available, you can reach out to our Rapid Response Team for individualized guidance. We are here for you! The East Team’s Rapid Response Team, and all our partners, are accessible via Ramsey County’s COVID-19 contact list and inquiries page.
Please feel free to forward this to others who may be interested, who can opt in to receive our daily COVID-19 Situation Reports or view them on our COVID-19 web page. We have also posted information for several free webinars that may help you navigate your new normal on our Events page.
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce