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Posted on: March 23, 2020

COVID-19 resources for businesses

The following programs and resources are available to business and employees who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Small Business Emergency Loans

Following Executive Order 20-15, the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has established a loan program to assist small businesses directly and adversely affected and whose industry is named in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 following the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are a vital part of Minnesota’s economy and this program will provide a source of working capital to help businesses sustain operations during this challenging time. Although the program is still being developed initial applications are now being accepted. Visit DEED’s Small Business Emergency Loan webpage for more information. 

Small Business Administration Guidance and Loan Resources for Small Businesses  

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a variety of resources available to help small businesses including loan programs, resources for employees, debt relief options, links to local assistance, and more. To learn more, visit the SBA’s COVID-19: Small Businesses Guidance and Loan Resources page.

Minnesota DEED Rapid Response 

Employers who are planning a closure or major layoffs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic can get help through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will discuss your business needs with you, help avert layoffs if possible, and provide services to assist workers facing job losses. 

MN DEED Shared Work Program

Employers experiencing a slowdown in their business or service as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the Shared Work program. The program allows employers to seek alternatives to layoffs - retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Workers of employers who are approved to participate in the Shared Work program receive the percentage of their weekly UI benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced, not to exceed 60 percent. 

Unemployment Insurance (UI)

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program assists workers who cannot work, have their hours reduced or lose their job as a result of the pandemic. The UI program is prepared and ready to assist these workers. To find out more or to apply for benefits, visit the UI website. Have more questions about whether you qualify for Unemployment Insurance, how to apply and what the process is? Please visit the UI Need to Know page

Job Search

While many businesses have been ordered to temporarily close to slow the spread of COVID-19, some Minnesota businesses are not only staying open – they are also hiring large numbers of workers and even offering hiring incentives. See more job search resources.

Sales Tax Grace Period

Restaurants, bars and other hospitality businesses impacted by the temporary closure order have a 30-day grace period in paying sales and use tax. During this time the Minnesota department of Revenue will not assess penalties or interest. This means that affected businesses with a monthly Sales and Use Tax payment due March 20, 2020 will have until April 20 to make that payment. These customers should still file their return by March 20. Find out more at the Minnesota Department of Revenue website.

Center for Disease Control Guidance

The Center for Disease Control has released interim guidance for businesses and employers as they plan, prepare and respond to coronavirus impacts. Find out more at the CDC website.

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