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Covid 19
COVID-19 Tools
Financial Programs
State and Federal
Chris Giesen,
CEDA VP                    

Tech for Meetings
Heather Holmes,
Stewartville Mayor
Jimmie-John King 
City Administrator
Bill Schimmel
COVID-19 Resources SE MN Cities
DEED Financial Assistance Matrix (check for updates as it will change over time):

From the CDC: Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission (PDF)


Information for Childcare Grants is of special importance. The grants are targeting childcare assistance for essential workers, and your city staff may have several members who would qualify. Please see the attached memo and links provided by DEED.


SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Payroll Protection Program (PPP)

U.S. Small Business Administration loans 

One way Minnesota businesses may be able to get assistance is through low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Governor Walz has requested an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration, clearing the way for businesses to apply for loans to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. If you have questions, please call the SBA hotline at 1-800-659-2955. We will share SBA loan application information as soon as it becomes available.


Sales tax grace period

Restaurants, bars and other businesses impacted by the temporary closures now have a 30-day grace period in paying sales and use tax, under a grace period announced yesterday by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. 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. Penalties or interest will not be assessed during the grace period. Find out more at the Minnesota Department of Revenue website.

Workplace health and safety

We know that many Minnesota businesses have taken extraordinary measures to offer telework, paid leave, and other options to their employees during this time of uncertainty.

Businesses and employers can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for help with preparing for and responding to COVID-19.

The U.S. Department of Labor has developed some guidelines for how companies can prepare their workplace for COVID-19.

For information on protecting workers and slowing the spread of COVID-19, refer to guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, measures include telling sick workers to stay home, offering remote work options and increasing space between workers on the job.


If you need to reduce workers' hours

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. 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. Visit Shared Work Program to learn more about its benefits for employers and employees, and how to apply.

Unemployment Insurance information for employers

Additional Unemployment Insurance information for employers affected by COVID-19

If your workers apply for unemployment benefits, we will let you know.

Lost business insurance coverage     

Lost business income insurance is subject to the specific terms and conditions of your policy. Contact the broker or agent that sold the policy or your insurance company.

Ongoing updates

When we have more information, we will share it via email and social media, share it online on our COVID-19 Information for Employers page on the DEED site, and work to distribute it through media outlets.

Emergency Loan Program Applications Being Accepted

On Monday, March 23, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced a Small Business Emergency Loan program to help business owners who are experiencing temporary cash flow shortages as a result of statewide orders to close restaurants, bars and other select public services.

Because of our long history of partnering with DEED in other lending programs, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) was chosen as one of nearly two dozen statewide organizations to accept Small Business Emergency Loan applications.


Businesses located in SMIF's 20-county region must submit applications directly to our SMIF lenders. See contact information below .


While the outline of DEED's Small Business Emergency Loan program is available online, agency staff still are developing application approval criteria. For the time being our 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.


SMIF will require additional documentation before a loan application can be processed. We also strongly encourage applicants to confer with their bank about possible accommodations on existing loans.  


We understand the urgency of this situation for businesses across our region. We will do everything in our power to respond and act quickly to help our entrepreneurs and our communities. Please check our emergency response page for updates. We also will send email updates with criteria from DEED as soon as information becomes available.


Emergency Loan Application

Contact SMIF lenders with questions or to submit the application

Diane Lewis, Lending Officer


Marcia Haley, SBA Lending Director



Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Launches Emergency Child Care Grant Program in southern Minnesota at the request of Governor Walz


Licensed family- and center-based providers caring for children of emergency and essential workers are invited to apply for grants



March 26, 2020

OWATONNA, Minn. - The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs), including Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), have created an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide immediate financial support to licensed child care providers in Greater Minnesota in response to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. All six foundations have committed $50,000 – for a total of $300,000 dedicated for Greater Minnesota child care providers right away – and are working to secure additional resources from other partners.  


SMIF will award grants of up to $1,000 to eligible licensed family child care programs and grants of up to $3,000 for licensed center-based programs in SMIF's 20-county region. To be eligible, providers must be caring for the children (ages birth to 5 years) of parents or guardians who are working in government-identified critical sectors who are exempt during this time from the stay at home order.*


Interested child care providers located in SMIF's region should complete a short application provided on SMIF's website. The intent is to provide a response and funding to qualified child care businesses within approximately two weeks of receiving their application.


The Minnesota Initiative Foundations were established in response to the economic crisis of the 1980s and have a long history of working together to help Greater Minnesota communities thrive. Together, they became leaders in promoting early childhood care and education and building coalitions and collaborative partnerships to support young children and their families. Most recently, they have been working with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and dozens of local leaders, agencies, organizations and businesses to develop community solutions to address the child care shortage in Greater Minnesota. 


"It has been heartbreaking to hear from our child care partners across southern Minnesota as they deal with new challenges as a result of this unprecedented crisis," said Rae Jean Hansen, Vice President of Early Childhood at SMIF. "At SMIF, we are honored to be able to play a part in supporting child care businesses as they fill a critical need in our communities by caring for children of emergency and essential personnel."


*Workers who work in critical sectors during this time are exempt from the stay at home order. These exemptions are based on federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota-specific additions. To learn more about who is considered a critical worker, please visit the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s website. For questions about who is considered a critical worker, please contact


For questions about SMIF's Emergency Child Care Grant Program, contact Rae Jean Hansen, Vice President of Early Childhood, at or 507-214-7012.


Learn more about Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s COVID-19 response in southern Minnesota at



To clarify the Governor’s EO 20-20 that calls for “stay at Home’

The Minnesota legislature passed the COVID-19 Response bill (HF4531/SF4451). The full text of the bill can be found here:

Topics included on the LMC’s resource page:


Latest updates


Additional resources:

Emergency declaration and electronic meetings

City operations

Information about public health

Communications resources

Previous updates


DEED Announces Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

Will help Minnesota lenders provide capital to small businesses throughout the state affected by COVID-19

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is announcing the Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week.  This temporary program, established in response to impacts of COVID-19, provides another option for financing to help small businesses weather this difficult time.  DEED estimates that this $10 million will guarantee $20 million to $25 million in loans for Minnesota small businesses.

“DEED’s loan guarantee initiative is another example of how Minnesota leaders are working together to ensure we’re doing all we can to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Governor Tim Walz. “These loan guarantees  help Minnesota’s small businesses access the capital they need to keep operating during this difficult time.”

“We created this loan guarantee program because we know many small businesses across Minnesota need help and that existing emergency loan programs may not meet the needs of every business,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove.  “The Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is part of a slate of emergency small business assistance options DEED is implementing with bipartisan support from the state legislature.”

DEED is not the lender, but it will work with lenders throughout the state to use the loan guarantees to support small business loans. These loan guarantees will facilitate loans for a variety of purposes and can be subordinate to other financing. Allowable loan uses must be exclusively in Minnesota and include machinery or equipment purchases, maintenance, or repair; expenses related to moving into or within Minnesota; and working capital when the working capital is secured by fixed assets when possible.

The loan guarantees can only leverage funds for Minnesota businesses with fewer than the equivalent of 250 employees, which includes the total of all employees at a parent company and at any additional locations. The program will provide an 80% guarantee up to a maximum of $200,000, therefore the maximum loan amount in the loan guarantee program would be $250,000. The program will be open for up to 12 months from the declaration of the peacetime emergency under Executive Order 20-01 on March 13.

All loans will be made by lenders enrolled in the Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program. No loans will come directly from DEED. Eligible lenders include banks or other commercial lenders,  public entities, or private nonprofit economic development organizations whose headquarters are located in Minnesota. DEED is now accepting applications from lenders who would like to participate in the program at the lender tab on the Small business Loan Guarantee Program page of the DEED website.

If your business is seeking funding, please business tab on the same page at the end of the week of March 30 to obtain contact information for enrolled lenders as it becomes available. Each lender will utilize their own established application and underwriting processes for loans. Please discuss the requirements with the lender that you choose.

Visit the COVID-19 Information for Employers and Businesses page on the DEED website  for more resources related to business assistance, Unemployment Insurance and FAQs.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


National Resources





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