GMG Members & Stakeholders,

As we all continue to navigate this challenging situation together, right now, it’s important to follow the recently implemented Stay at Home Executive Order and do what we can to minimize further impacts of this pandemic for our local region.

GMG understands that there is an overwhelming amount of information coming forward and we felt it would be helpful to provide a summary of key information and resources noted below.

Loan Programs (some forgivable):

·         Paycheck Protection Program – The largest program for businesses under 500 employees in the new CARES Act, these forgivable loans will provide employers funding to cover eight weeks of payroll, rent, health insurance, retirement and other associated costs. Businesses will be able to apply in a week or two through most local banks.

·         Economic Injury Disaster Loan – Offered through the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), these loans are currently available and offered at 3.75%. They can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. Newly passed in the CARES Act, the first $10,000 can be accessed within three days of applying and doesn’t need to be paid back. The loan can also be converted to a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

·         Small Business Emergency Loan – Offered through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), these loans are intended to be a bridge loan of $2,500 to $35,000 while a business applies for the federal programs above. They are interest free and partial forgiveness is available.

·         Small Business Loan Guarantee Program – This is a brand new resource offered by DEED to provide an 80% loan guarantee for businesses that are unable to access SBA disaster loan assistance. More information is expected to come soon.

CARES Act:

·         In addition to the new Paycheck Protection Program and expansion of SBA Disaster loans, the newly passed federal CARES Act includes a number of provisions to help businesses, including payroll tax deferrals. GMG has prepared a comprehensive summary of all of these new provisions. Additional guidance will be forthcoming as federal agencies implement this new law.

Paid Leave:

·         Two new federally-reimbursed paid leave programs were established in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that all employers under 500 must implement by April 1. The US Department of Labor and IRS have published preliminary guidance to help employers implement these new programs.

Essential Business:

·         DEED has published a website for businesses looking for clarification on what is considered an essential business that can continue operating during the Governor’s stay at home order. If your industry isn’t listed as exempt in the NAICS code list published by DEED, you may still be exempt based on the Executive Order.

·         Greater Mankato Growth is working with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to assist in inventorying businesses that are adding temporary additional employees as a result of COVID-19. Please complete the linked survey for each position/job category you are adding as a direct result of COVID-19.

Please know we are committed to providing you as members timely updates through a variety of channels including our weekly e-news publications (sent on Tuesdays), blog posts summarizing key components of legislation and relief programs, social media resources such as a group page supporting local businesseswebinar opportunities and of course our comprehensive COVID-19 resource page which includes a working document of Greater Mankato business options by industry that correlates to an interactive map of business locations.

A great deal has changed over the past two weeks since we first started distributing information and resources related to COVID-19 and I’m incredibly proud of how we are all coming together to support one another.  If you’re looking for some positivity – a number of local “feel good” efforts, stories and content can be found via our Facebook Page.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (507) 385-6640 or [email protected] if you have questions, would like to receive e-news, or if we can be of assistance.  We are here to help.