COVID-19 Business Resources

Business Resources

Below is a list of federal, state, and local resources available to businesses dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. Stay safe and healthy and please do not hesitate to reach out to the City with any questions you may have. 

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Minnesota State University, Mankato knows that small business owners are rightfully concerned about survival during these uncertain times. South Central Minnesota businesses have survived natural disasters before, and during those trying times, many had to do things differently. It is important to take the necessary steps now so that you come out of this disruption stronger than ever. Click here for some key imperatives that can carry you through these uncertain times:

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)

DEED is working with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Walz-Flanagan Administration, and the Minnesota Legislature to take steps to ensure the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic do not create unnecessary burdens on employers and workers. On this website you will find answers to common questions for employers and workers and more information as it becomes available.

Small Business Emergency Loans

Following Executive Order 20-15, 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.

Businesses should apply directly through a certified lender such as the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. For the time being, their lenders are accepting applications and recording them in the order in which they are received. Loan consideration will start when DEED provides application approval criteria.

For more information, contact SMIF lenders with questions or to submit the initial application.

Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants

This program will make available $10,000 grants to Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A total of $60.3 million is available for grant awards which will be selected through a computer-generated, randomized selection process.

Awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 1, 2020, in the regular course of business. These are grants and no repayment will be required.

Small Business Loan Guarantee

This program provides a 80% loan guarantee for loans up to $250,000 made by a qualified economic development lender within this program. This program is intended to incent the private market to make loans to small businesses and provides the guarantee for those loan dollars. The state is providing a loan guarantee of $10 million which is likely to leverage between $20 and $25 million in lending by private banks. Apply directly with Enrolled Lenders.

Small Business Assistance (SBA) 

The nation’s small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.  

For more information visit the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan page.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program for COVID-19 

MN small businesses are NOW eligible for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans. Online applications for these loans are open to Minnesota businesses and available here.   Brief information on the EIDL Program:

This program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits.  These loans can go toward working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments that can’t be paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The current interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75%.  These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The SBA PPP is a new federal $350 billion loan program administered by the SBA that provides loans up to 2.5 months’ worth of payroll cost up to $10 million for small businesses, self-employed people, sole proprietors, independent contractors and gig workers to maintain payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the loans are used for eligible uses and employers maintain payroll for eight weeks after the loans are dispersed the loan will be forgiven. 

You will apply directly with a local lender. We advise you start with your existing lender as they may already be participating in the program or can refer to a participating lender. You can also find a lender here.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Unemployment

Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the Unemployment Insurance Shared Work Program. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs – retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Visit Shared Work Program to learn more about its benefits for employers and employees, and how to apply. Additionally, employees whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 can apply for unemployment benefits. The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program is taking steps to make the application process simpler for those affected.

Minnesota Department of Revenue

As Minnesota responds to COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Revenue remains open and ready to help with tax-related services. Refer to this page for updates and links to other information or resources.

To ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees, we are modifying some of the services we offer:

  • We still offer in-person meetings and walk-in services but may modify them to allow more distance between people. we ask that you stay home if you or anyone in your household have cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • You can securely drop off tax returns and payments outside our St. Paul office without face-to-face interaction. Put all materials in a sealed envelope.
  • For information on delaying your sales and use tax payments see the Minnesota Department of Revenue Sales and Use Tax page.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease (COVID19).  For updates from the CDC,click here.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

The Minnesota Chamber has compiled resources from trusted sources aimed answering questions and continuing business throughout this pandemic, including a webinar of industry experts offering best practices and answering questions on health, safety and business considerations, and the economy as a whole. The Minnesota Chamber has compiled a webinar and toolkit for employers and employees.