March 26, 2020
The MWFPA COVID-19 Update is underwritten in part by Bug Blocker Doors & Screens
The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation with ramifications for the economy, interstate commerce and the Midwest's food manufacturing industry.

MWFPA continues to closely monitor evolving information about the coronavirus/COVID-19 and are providing the following information as a supplement to our regular News Bulletin for your use.
The MWFPA COVID-19 Update is underwritten in part by Alliant Energy
Walz Issues "Stay At Home" Order For Minnesota

MN Governor Walz has signed an executive order for all Minnesotans to “stay at home” for two weeks, starting this Friday. We want to make sure that you have what you need to understand, comply and navigate your business through this crisis.
According to the MN Chamber of Commerce, if you are a private-sector employer that can continue business operations remotely, you can keep your business open.

If you are wondering about the definition of “essential” and “nonessential” operations, you can find details or see the Executive Order language linked from the Chamber's COVID-19 Business Toolkit .

The Chamber will record a webinar with Commissioner Steve Grove of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today, Thursday, March 26. MWFPA will make the recorded webinar available to members.
Culotta, Trade Association Reps Provide Industry-Specific COVID-19 Impact Updates

On Wednesday, MWFPA President Jason Culotta participated as a panelist, along with other trade association representatives, in a webinar providing industry-specific updates on the impact of COVID-19.

The webinar, organized by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), its trade association partners and local chambers of commerce, included remarks from WI State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who detailed state government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can listen to the webinar at: .

Jason’s remarks begin at 25:11 in the recording.
WI Extends Overweight Trucking Permits For Two Weeks

The WI Department of Transportation (WisDOT) today announced a two-week extension for overweight permits that allow truckers to supply grocery stores impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the 489 fleet permits already issued, which cover more than 15,000 trucks, no action is required for the automatic extension. The permits had been set to expire March 28.

For additional information, read the WisDOT news release here .
Pritzker Outlines More Measures To Aid IL Citizens, Businesses; Duckworth, Durbin Seek Disaster Declaration

 IL Governor JB Pritzker has introduced additional measures to help IL citizens and businesses. Among them are:
1. Illinois will delay the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, aligning it with the federal government. The Department of Revenue’s informational bulletin is here .

2. The Department of Commerce (DCEO) and the Department of Professional and Financial Regulations have established a loan loss reserve of $20 million for state charted banks.

3. DCEO is also asking all banks that offer advantage Illinois loans to modify the loans to offer a 3 month deferral or 6 months of interest only payments.

Meanwhile, IL Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth on Wednesday bolstered Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s request for a federal disaster declaration in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

IL has requested assistance for all 102 counties in the state. The federal declaration would give Illinois access to more federal benefits.
U.S Senate Passes Coronavirus Rescue Package

The U.S. Senate late Wednesday unanimously passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the third coronavirus response bill produced by Congress and by far the largest. It builds on efforts focused on vaccines and emergency response, sick and family medical leave for workers, and food aid.

Read the National Association of Manufacturers Association summary of the "CARES ACT" here . Further details regarding the package approved by the US Senate will be available shortly.
U.S Labor Department Sets Temporary Non-Enforcement Period For Families First Act Violations

The U.S Department of Labor will not bring enforcement actions against any public or private employer for violations of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) occurring within 30 days of the enactment of the FFCRA (i.e. March 18 through April 17, 2020), provided that the employer has made reasonable, good faith efforts to comply with the Act.

For purposes of this non-enforcement position, an employer who is found to have violated the FFCRA acts “reasonably” and “in good faith” when certain facts are present. 

Please review these facts and other aspects of the Temporary Non-Enforcement Period here:
Brian Elliott | Midwest Food Products Association | Ph: (608) 255-9946 | Fax: (608) 255-9838