First Ribbon Cutting since COVID
TOMORROW!
See details below
NOTICE:
Small Business Relief
State, County & Cities

Last week, the Apple Valley Chamber along with Burnsville Chamber, River Heights Chamber and Hastings Chamber sent a request letter to the County for small business grants. The letter strongly asked for the County to give grants to help our small businesses which they had under consideration.   On Tuesday, the County APPROVED $10 MILLION for small business relief for $10,000 grants.   They are working out the details with the Community Development Agency which would likely implement the program. Us Chambers are asking for that amount to double so that more than 1/6th of small businesses could receive relief.  

The City of Lakeville has a similar program and the City of Burnsville is reviewing a proposal for $1 million in small business grants up to $20,000 each. We spoke with our Mayor and she said our City is considering a similar program to help our small businesses. The money being used is from what the Governor recently released of $64 million from the CARES ACT to distribute to cities and towns. We will keep you updated as all of these relief sources come to fruition.

In addition, we ask that you as a business person, contact our legislators to pass the Tax Bill HF 3 which is in special season and will be voted on Monday, July 20th. That bill being a bonding bill which was mixed with a tax bill would offer Conformity to Section 179 of the Federal tax code allowing MN business tax relief as MN is higher than the Federal standard. HF 2 would provide small businesses with $90 million in tax relief for 2020/2021 and $128 million tax relief for 2022. It requires 3/5th votes to pass and would reduce your 2020 taxes.
MN Zoo Reopens
Starting July 24th
After much planning and anticipation, the Zoo is excited to begin to safely welcome
members and guests back to their indoor and outdoor trails beginning July 24. The new Zoo experience is designed with the health and safety of guests, staff,
and animals in mind. All tickets must be purchased online, in advance, for a specific
date and entry time. Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance. Both indoor and outdoor trails will be open daily from 10 am – 4 pm, with one-way
flow of traffic and markers to promote physical distancing. In order to reduce the
gathering of crowds, live programs, such as the Wings Financial World of Birds Show
and Close Encounters, will not be offered at this time. Play areas, including the
Splash Pad, will remain closed and additional cleaning will be done on high-touch
areas. To protect the health of animals and guests, masks will be required
of all guests age 3 and up.

Tickets go on sale today and can be reserved online at mnzoo.org.
DEED Call for Business
Notes from Todays Call 7/16/2020
APPLE VALLEY CHAMBER NOTES:   Please read todays notes from today’s DEED and other department meetings, especially if you have had a loan or are looking for a grant or loan. They clarify if one loan makes you ineligible for a different loan at a different government level.

TODAY’S TOPICS
—Governor and Mandated Masks (not determined yet)
—$600 addition to unemployment insurance
—State SBRG Grants: 29K apps for 6K $10K grants (1 in 5)
—Cultural malls
—Unemployment numbers way down
—Large Banks Loan Loss Reserves
—Covid testing payment
—Temporary licenses
—Recovery from damage from unrest
—Workman’s Comp complaints
—Paid sick leave if under 500 ppl.
—Exemption if under 50 (no)
—When must you cover 80 hrs.
—Relief funds for local governments ($600 million paid)

Q&A
—When will state release $10K SBRG Cares act grants
—Can you take multiple grants
—Non-Profits: Cities CAN use Care Act money for NP’s (such as the Chamber)
—SBRG not for those with SBEL Grants
—250 Max people at convention (can have 250 each room though)
—Project prevailing wages and CARES Act
— +$600 and state software
—Mortgage foreclosure moratorium
—Can business use same Covid expenses for State and Local grants
—School K-12 update (none yet)
2020 07 16 Call, DEED
Thursday, July 16, 2020
10:59 AM

Steve Kelley, Commissioner of Commerce
Nicole Blissenbach, Asst Commissioner of Department of Labor and Industry
Cynthia Bauerly, Asst Commissioner of Revenue
Steve Grove, Commissioner of DEED
Kevin McKinnon, Deputy Commissioner of DEED
Darielle Dannon, Legislative Director
See Yang, Administrative Business Partner (Anna Peterson, DEED Chief of Staff gone today)

 
DEED, Steve Grove
  • COVID Dial-Back Dashboard to monitor progress towards further reopening. https://mn.gov/covid19/data/response-prep/dial-back-dashboard.jsp
  • Big message right now is about masks: Governor contemplating statewide mandate. Complex decision. Regardless, evidence is clear that masks make a big difference, particularly indoors.
  • July 25 expiration of $600 top-off of UI benefits. Has been huge income subsidy. 75% of Minnesotans on UI are earning more than they did when the crisis hit.
  • Earlier today, launched campaign re awareness of this impending change. And providing info/resources to ensure people are thinking about a path forward.
  • Online resources: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/get-help/
  • Engaging in outreach re SBRG. 29K applications for 6K $10K grants. So 1 in 5 will get a grant. Conducting a lottery later today.
  • Targeted categories will get more consideration: owned by people of color, women, veterans, and those with 6 or fewer employees. Over 70% of the applicants are from companies with 6 or fewer employees.
  • Also $2.5M carve-out for cultural malls. Important part of cultural vibrancy.
  • CDFI NP partners will confirm eligibility and move $ out by August.
  • June employment numbers: news release on DEED website. Did tick down to 8.6% for June, over 84K new jobs. Industries: mostly those hardest hit and which are now reopening. And some regional variations as well.
  • National unemployment now down to 11.1%.
  • Friday morn will find ranking of states re unemployment levels.
 
Commerce, Steve Kelley
  • Large banks nationally have been dramatically increasing loan loss reserves. We are working with state-level organizations to encourage flexibility. Don't want safety of those institutions to be challenged as a result of rising concerns re loan losses. Balancing act.
  • A lot of change in testing environment. Continue to ww MDH re guidelines for payment by insurers for that testing. One challenge in adopting relative simple rules for payment for testing is that about 40% of Minnesotans are covered by self-insured employers who are not regulated by the state. So it leads to a pretty complicated set of rules re what gets paid for in testing. Can lead to ongoing confusion by consumers.
  • Continuing to issue temp licenses due to challenges of moving people through traditional process.
  • Recovery from unrest: expect results in next few days re property and casualty insurers re claims they have received and paid, and other data related to damages. Plan to help policy makers re assistance to businesses who lacked insurance or who were underinsured.
  • Re recovery from COVID-19: PUC has initiated a proceeding to ask utilities for ideas for projects that were anticipated over next several years that could be brought forward to help stimulate the economy and get people working. Regulated utilities have proposed a number of projects and dept will be ww them to bring forward projects that make sense.
 
DLI, Nicole Blissenbach
  • More people return to work, call volume into OSHA complaints is ticking up slightly again. questions and complaints both. Same in Labor Standards Unit and Work Comp.
  • From last week, re FFCRA and EFMLA: US DOL counterparts have shared, having some trouble getting info out to employers. Hearing from employers:
  • Under the impression the paid sick leave provisions are voluntary. This is mandatory for employers under 500 employees.
  • Confusion about exemption from certain aspects of that law for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. This IS mandatory. Applies to 1 of the reasons covered. 6 reasons an employee would qualify for paid , up to 80 hours/2 weeks paid sick leave. Includes
  • Isolation, advised by health provider, symptomatic, seeking diagnosis, caring for indiv quarantined… all of those reasons qualify for the 80 hours.
  • Only exemption: can choose not to provide if it is undue hardship if employee is asking to care for son/daughter if childcare is closed.
  • Info on US DOL website. Search for FFCRA to get answers.
 
Revenue, Cynthia Bauerly
  • Focused on work to get Coronavirus Relief Funds to local govts.
  • 2 certification deadlines in late June. Next deadline is July 20, for counties/cities/townships that qualify.
  • So far, issued $600M of the overall fund to 64 counties and 196 cities/towns.
  • Another 17 counties, 245 cities, 63 towns that have made requests.
 
Questions
  1. When will the state release the awards for the $10K Cares Act grant (SBRG)? Andi f a business gets a grant, can it get another from a city/county grant program, so long as it's for different COVID-eligible expenses? Grove: don't have exact date for release of funds. If you're selected in lottery, you will be notified within the next few days, at which point you will move on to final confirmation of eligibility. If you are not awarded, you will move to waiting list (and not notified immediately). Nothing in our program that prohibits you from getting grants from your community.
  2. Are NPs impacted by COVID-19 ineligible for local CARES Act grants? If ineligible, where is that specific language within the CARES Act? Grove: cities/localities are running their CARES Act disbursements through their own process.
  3. SBRG excludes home based businesses. Is there specific language in CARES Act excluding such businesses? Grove: eligibility requirement wasn't based on CARES Act provision. Dannon: Ramsey Cty does have $ available for home based businesses. So look to local municipality for programs specific to you.
  4. SBRG exclude SBEL recipients. Is that state requirement or federal? Grove: eligibility determination was part of the negotiation with Legislature.
  5. Under current Eos, can a hotel/convention center host a conference with appropriate social distancing? If so, how many people? Grove: current guidance for large events is 250 people max. CAN have multiple rooms of 250 people in each room. With staggered entry/exit times…
  6. Do projects using CARES Act funds need to follow prevailing wages? Dannon: dependent on the project and whether or not it is subject to federal Davis Bacon Act. And money is provided to a business rather than a project… so it depends on how the $ is provided and used for. Please contact our prevailing wage unit. Bauerly: prevailing wage CAN be triggered depending on the project. so check with DLI for guidance.
  7. Talk at federal level re PUA up to 100% rather than current rates +$600. is MN software able to adjust to a "100% reimbursement rate"? Grove: I don't think that's a software limitation.
  8. How long is mortgage foreclosure moratorium in place? Many businesses rely on the foreclosure process for business revenue. Employees are being furloughed. Kelley: have not been adopted by all financial institutions, though many have signed on voluntarily to put off foreclosures through EOY.
  9. Can businesses use the same COVID-related loss expenses for both state app and city app? Grove: I would encourage a business applying for more than 1 grant to talk to DEED and the locality they are applying to. The program is meant to cover a whole host of losses. How it's calculated is up to the business. I don't believe there is fraud here
  10. On a previous call, Baulerly mentioned a 10% set-aside for direct relief. Can this be clarified? Are they required to use it this way? Bauerly: was part of legislation but not part of the final request.
  11. Do we have updates re K-12 schools this fall? Grove: don't have update for this call. Though it is clear that students get a better education in person. More news coming.
Socially Distanced Ribbon Cutting TOMORROW , Friday
Join us July 17th @ 11 am
FIRST RIBBON CUTTING SINCE COVID
Face Masks & Social Distancing Required

This will be the first ribbon cutting since COVID began. Everyone in attendance is required to wear a mask and be appropriately socially distanced at 6 feet apart. We will do the ceremony outside and then anyone who is comfortable is welcome to take a tour of the space in groups of 3 people at a time. Appetizers will be provided. Help us welcome Tania to the Apple Valley Community!

Since we will be more spread out while social distancing, we will have Chris Ellickson of Ellickson Photography taking DRONE PHOTOS from up above. Be sure to be a part of this timeless event!

DATE: Friday July 17th
TIME: 11 am
LOCATION: Green Lotus Yoga & Healing Center
15875 Emperor Ave - Apple Valley, MN
(next to Think Bank)
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Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce | info@applevalleychamber.com