Register for Next Wednesday's Free Webinar
The 'Real Time Solutions' Webinar Series Continues!
The Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Lakeville, Burnsville, Hastings and River Heights Chambers is excited to continue the 'Real Time Solutions' webinar series! These are complimentary Live 30-minute webinars to help your business navigate the questions, and new normal, related to the COVID-19 epidemic.

ABOUT WEDNESDAY'S TOPIC
Speaker Jim Young (Regional Vice President at Edina Realty) will review trends in residential real estate, and speaker Matt Anfang (Executive Director at the Minnesota Commercial Association of Real Estate/Realtors) will review trends in commercial real estate.
Webinar Series Information
(All Webinars are 30 Minutes Long)
Wednesday May 6 | 8 am
CONCLUDED
Readying Your Retail Operation
Bruce will give us information about how the retail industry can get back to work and be successful in this new era of COVID-19 awareness and preparedness.

Wednesday May 13 | 8 am
CONCLUDED
The State of Tourism in the COVID-19 Era
John will be joining us for an interactive conversation about the state of MN's tourism now and in the coming months. This will follow more of a Q & A format.
Moderated by Apple Valley Chamber President Ed Kearney.

Wednesday May 20 | 8 am
NEXT WEDNESDAY
The State of Real Estate
Speaker Jim Young (Regional Vice President at Edina Realty) will review trends in residential real estate, and speaker Matt Anfang (Executive Director at the Minnesota Commercial Association of Real Estate/Realtors) will review trends in commercial real estate.

Wednesday June 3 | 8 am
Staffing Trends & New Norms for Safe Hiring
Speaker Glenn Starfield (Owner of Express Employment Professionals) will discuss the current staffing trends and new norms for safe hiring in this new era of COVID-19 awareness and preparedness.

DEED Conference Call
Notes from Today's Call 5/14/2020
APPLE VALLEY CHAMBER NOTE: This is much clearer clarification to the Governor’s EO last night allowing more to open. Here is quick Table of Contents to quickly know what applies to your business.
 
QUICK SUMMARY (Details below)
GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER REOPENING MOST OF ECONOMY
—Keep working at home
—Protect workers from retaliation, let wear own PPE
—Extends Peacetime Emergency to June 12
—Retail & Malls with limitations (Starts Monday 5/18)
—Encourage elderly stay home (not required)

Changes
—OK gather 10 or less
—Remote camping only
—Sports (i.e. tennis, not basketball type sports)
—Entertainment closure through May 31st
   (DEED required to post rules by Wed.)
—Retail & Malls—50% or less
—MUST have preparedness plan & share
—Household services can return
—Licensing reopening testing to 50% 
—No co-pays for COVID, who will pay for testing?
—Adding wind energy projects to MN
—Protecting from retaliation
—Worker PPE (can’t violate decency)
—Worker right to refuse work
—Worker right to invite inspection OSHA
—Worker UI eligible if quits for those reasons
—ADA, must adjust schedules, work stations, work home 
—CARES act funds to local government
 
Q&A
—Working from home stays the same even next week
—Posters for safework (use template but can make own)
—Mask decency detailed
—BUSINESS LIABILITY DETAILS (#5)
—ALL MUST HAVE PLAN, EVEN CRITICAL SECTOR (#6)
—Protecting workers from customers not adhearing (#7) Can flag customer
—If already open do you need 50% Occupancy (NO), only newly opening
—Is GOVERNMENT EXCEMPT FROM RULES (NO) (#9)
—Can business be fined for opening anyways? (YES by DLI or Public Safety)
—CAN BUSINESS MAKE MASK MANDATORY FOR CUSTOMERS? (YES if in plan)

DATES FOR OPENING
  • Retail: May 18, 2020. See guidelines below.
  • Malls and Shopping Centers: May 18, 2020. See guidelines below.
  • Hair Care, Barbers, Salons: Anticipated June 1. A link to re-opening guidelines will be added as soon as available.
  • Gyms, Movie Theaters, Bowling Alleys: Anticipated June 1. A link to re-opening guidelines will be added as soon as available.


2020 05 14 Call, DEED
Thursday, May 14, 2020
7:27 AM

Steve Kelley, Commissioner of Commerce
Nicole Blissenbach, Asst Commissioner of Department of Labor and Industry
Robert Doty, Asst Commissioner, Revenue
Steve Grove, Commissioner of DEED
Kevin McKinnon, Deputy Commissioner of DEED
Darielle Dannon, Legislative Director
Anna Peterson, DEED Chief of Staff
 
Purpose: regular business call with state government. How can we do more for business?
 
Questions are being circulated into the forum through this daily communication. Always seeking ideas for more targeted supports.
 
MOVING FORWARD, THESE CALLS WILL BE ONCE A WEEK ON THURSDAY, 7:30 - 8:15AM.
 
DEED, Steve Grove
  • Last night from Governor:
  • EO 20-56, signed 5/13/2020, re safely reopening Minnesota's economy and ensuring safe non-work activities during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency
  • EO 20-55, signed 5/13/2020, recommending people in high-risk categories stay at home except for necessary activities. If you can work from home, do so (over 65, in nursing homes, underlying health conditions).
  • EO 20-54, signed 5/13/2020, protecting workers from retaliation, and allowing them to wear their own PPE
  • EO 20-53, signed 5/13/2020, extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency through June 12
  • https://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/execorders/eoresults?gov=44
  • EO 20-56 to ensure safe nonwork activities can continue, reopens retail, malls with some limitations. Goes in effect on Monday, 5/18.
  • Encourages masks, given health data on its efficacy.
  • COVID strikes at risk populations at a much harsher rate than others. Meant to ensure those with health conditions or elderly are encouraged to stay at home at least through May 31. not "required," but "strongly encouraged."
  • 3 broad buckets of changes:
  • Social gathering: shift allowing gatherings of 10 people or fewer. Even if not members of same household. Caveats for legislative meetings, driving gatherings… some churches, movie theaters have instituted innovative "driving gatherings," which are permitted provided everyone stays in their car. Tribal lands, within the bounds of their sovereignty, are exempt.
  • Workers and businesses: differentiation highlighted in terms of slowly and carefully reentering more business and commerce without rushing too fast and risking a spike that would lead to turning the dial back….
  • Recreation: now remote camping allowed for single household use. Not in a developed campground with shared common space. Includes house boats, though campgrounds are still closed. Sporting advancements as well, like outdoor practices for 10 people or under. Think tennis vs basketball… basketball is still too many people and too close.
  • Key health factors: critical piece to determine the risk of a business setting
  • How much contact
  • How long that contact is
  • Predictability of the setting
  • Given that restriction, Governor has continued closure of entertainment venue through May 31. also asking DEED, MDH, DLI to develop a plan for those businesses opening by Jun 1.
  • By next Wed, required to post guidelines for how that will be done.
  • Order continues to ask people to work from home whenever possible.
  • Retail and malls: hold occupancy at 50% or less for max occupancy code for that structure. Sought guidance from retail assns here… not a perfect measure, but provides a good mental model for keeping traffic down. Still need preparedness plans. Share with employees and customers, post. No need to get "approval." goal is to provide confidence for both employees and customers.
  • For malls, additional guidance on our website. Key difference is the common areas, where gathering is still discouraged. Rope off, extra sanitation,
  • Household services can go back to work…
  • This progress has been based on input from you. Thank you.
 
Commerce, Kelley
  • Licensing: one of the challenges has been the testing centers provided by Pearson-Vue. Working with them as they plan to re-open at 50% capacity.
  • Had worked with health insurers for assurances through May 31 not to charge co-pays to people diagnosed with COVID-19. now working on post-May 31 as the demands of the pandemic also change. Also need to consider antibody testing, and who's going to pay for that and when is it covered by health insurance.
  • In energy space, GRE shut down its coal plant in ND in 2022. related to that, investing in new renewable energy in wind projects. The first are located in MN and we're hoping to get the bulk if not all of that new investment located in MN. As we face difficult economic times, we hope this will be a source of econ development across the state.
 
DLI, Blissenbach
  • EO 20-54, protecting workers from unsafe working conditions and retaliation.
  • Primarily a restatement of obligations and rights already in statute. Helpful because it provides more direction on how these apply to the current situation.
  • Employers can't discriminate or retaliate against worker who communicates about occupational and health safety matters related to COVID-19. OSHA statue already.
  • Must also not discriminate for wearing PPE the employee provides. That PPE can't violate industry standards or decency.
  • Workers have the right refuse to work under conditions they reasonably believe present risk of immediate death or physical harm. Includes unsafe environment re an infectious agent.
  • Also covers the rights of workers to request an inspection by OSHA or DLI if they believe health or safety standard is not being met.
  • Restates that DLI has the ability to receive complaints and has the ability to enforce those provisions.
  • Unemployment law statute allows for a worker who quits because they have raised an adverse work condition complaint to an employer who then fails to correct… still eligible for UI if they quit.
  • Right for individuals covered by ADA or Human Rights Act to request reasonable accommodations. Includes disability or health conditions that put them at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or having complications as a result. Could include adjusting schedules, work stations, allowing them work from home or use leave…
 
Revenue, Doty
  • Working on distribution of federal funds thru the CARES Act going to local govts in MN.
  • $657M distributed to counties and cities and towns.
  • Ww Legislature and Gov ofc to develop plan for how these funds are distributed, timing, and providing clarity on eligible costs.
  • This morning Commissioner will be testing at House Ways and Means Committee on the House version of this plan.
 
Questions
  1. A number of questions about office settings and whether employees could or should come back to the office: anyone still, if they can work from home, should. Doesn’t change even next week.
  2. Questions for DLI: is DLI producing posters for workplace best practices and will there be anything tailored to workplaces? Blissenbach: no posters, but a number of resources for businesses and many are industry-specific. Includes checklist mentioned earlier, and linked through the www.mn.gov.deed/safework website. Create your own plan is fine, just cover the checklist in the template we've provided.
  3. Employee protections in EO 20-54 are important. How are they different from protections already provided in existing law? Blissenbach: they are basically a reiteration, but tailored to the current situation. More than existing law is the protection for workers who are wearing their own PPE. Majority of the order IS a bringing together and restatement of worker protections and employer obligations in MN OSHA Law, MN Human Rights Act, and Unemployment.
  4. Can you give some examples of how PPE could violate safe, health, decency standards? Blissenbach: decency standard would be if an employee were to wear a face covering that has an inappropriate pattern on it. that's what we were targeting. Another ex would be if there is a policy related to a mask somehow would make things worse… (?)
  5. Can you address business liability related to COVID-19? For ex, if a business takes precautions and follows a plan, but a customer contacts them believing they got COVID in their business? Grove: general process is to ensure that person gets tested… that's critical. Then MDH conducts contact tracers to isolate that exposure. Need to have that thoughtful plan in place. If we get social distancing right, they're wearing PPE and following guidelines, the chances of that happening is much smaller. Steve Kelley: from insurance perspective, important for business owners to re-read their liability policies and talk with insurance agents if possible. Is important to follow policy standards related to implementing best practices/guidance from health authorities. Hard to provide blanket direction, but it is important to talk with your agent to determine if your practices can create any liability openings. Don't want to say you're not covered because you weren't following guidelines. Blissenbach: can't comment on when liability can be attached. But we do know the best practices based on CDC and MDH. If followed, will put you in a better place if there is a question of liability. 
  6. Some pushback from critical sector businesses, saying they're not required to have preparedness plan. Will it be required for ALL, regardless of critical sector status? Grove: we have debated this at some length. You can see the logic on both sides. Retroactively applying a new regulation to businesses already up and running can cause new challenges. Remind ourselves that every business operating today must be following CDC guidelines. Is an operational ask, not a different standard. So we do hold everyone accountable to the same rules/practices. We know many businesses, those getting it right, are creating preparedness plans. That's where our idea came from. No matter your type of business, if there is a complaint from employee or customer, they are encouraged to call into state hotline and challenge it. The preparedness plan is important both for safety and employee/customer confidence.
  7. Can you talk about ensuring customers are following guidance? How can businesses protect employees from customers not adhering to best practices? Grove: the guidance is trying to limit unpredictable behavior and contact within a business. This is why we're encouraging everyone to wear masks. There will be cases where customers aren't abiding by social distancing guidelines. Business has the right to flag that for the customer. Can notify us to help them navigate that situation. Guidance does apply to customers too. MN Retailers Assn has provided a great 3-page document to address this. also on our /safework webpage.
  8. Will businesses already open be subject to the 50% capacity requirement? Grove: no. This applies to the businesses reopening.
  9. Are govt facilities like city halls able to open on May 18? Grove: definition of a "business" does include state and local govt for the purposes of the EO. Of course it's up to that govt about how/when to re-open. DMV, for ex, is more like a retail setting. But a careerforce center, requiring time and engagement, is more like a restaurant/bar. Customer facing govt can open, but it's up to the individual authority about how/when.
  10. A number of questions about individual businesses and industries. EOs are clear and detailed, read them and you'll find your answers.
  11. If a business violates the EO and opens anyway, are there penalties in state or federal funding for noncompliance? Blissenbach: DLI would have authority to issue penalties for violation of worker protections or failure to follow guidelines. Also enforced if violation of the EO itself (like a business open that's not allowed) would go through public safety. Carries penalty with it, listed at end of EO.
  12. Has there been any discussion about mandatory masks wearing, like "no mask, no shoes, no service"? Blissenbach: EO strongly encourages, but doesn’t require. An individual business could require. Can be part of the preparedness plan.
Guidelines for Retailers Preparing to Re-Open
Suggested Guidelines for Re-Opening a MN Customer Facing Business
I n good news for consumers and retailers, retail stores including stores and malls/shopping centers can re-open to guests on May 18 following Governor Walz issuance of Executive Order 20-56 May 13. The Minnesota Retailers Association worked with DEED Commissioner Steve Grove and a retail roundtable workgroup (representing retailers, chambers of commerce, associations, and other stakeholders) on re-open guidelines over the past few weeks. Those guidelines are listed below.

The guidelines below do not constitute legal advice and each retailer should do its very best to put in place a re-open plan tailored to best practices and safety for employees and customers.

These guidelines are not intended to apply to restaurants, bars, salons and other business where separate re-opening plans are being contemplated or businesses that are open under existing Executive Orders. We will post links to guidelines for these business when they are available.

Requirements To Re-Open
  • Create And Execute A Safety Plan. Retailers must have a safety plan available to workers, customers, the public and government officials with option to modify the existing COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template available at www.dli.mn.gov/updates. THIS IS REQUIRED UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-56.
  • Include Best Practices Modified To The Retail Setting. A safety plan should contemplate but need not be limited to tailored, site-specific best practices surrounding health/wellness, social distancing, cleaning/sanitation/protection, and operations/communications for in-store customers, appointments, curbside pickup and delivery. See the best practices outline and resources below for suggestions. ADDRESSING BEST PRACTICES IS REQUIRED UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-56.
  • Modify Occupancy To Accommodate Social Distancing. Retailers must adjust allowable occupancy and consider regulating customer flow to accommodate social distancing and safety. A 50% OCCUPANCY (MAXIMUM) STANDARD IS REQUIRED UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-56.

Best Practices Outline
The below items should be considered in the safety plan and included, excluded, or modified to improve safety for employees and customers. The safety plan should be specific to the store.

Health and wellness:
Evaluate employee health according to CDC and MDH guidelines and screen employees so that only well employees are at work.
Adjust policies to accommodate employees not working due to illness or COVID-19 symptoms.
Ask that only healthy customers feeling well shop in the store.
Social distancing:
Evaluate space, change configuration, adjust flow and modify occupancy with guidepost of 50 percent of occupancy rating or other occupancy metric with deference to ensuring social distancing per CDC guidelines and recommendations.
Control building access and regulate customer movement with consideration of one-way traffic.
Use signage at the door and throughout the store as well as public address system messages if available to remind customers of social distancing.
At checkout and areas of high congestion mark out social distancing, including floor markers for distance, line lanes, and marking adjacent areas where customers may be waiting for store access.
At checkout extend space between the customer and clerk with markings, physical barrier, or plexiglass divider.
Reconfigure space used for fittings to provide social distancing between customers and protections for customers and employees.
Encourage customer use of curbside, delivery, and appointment options.
Cleaning, sanitation & protection:
Execute an enhanced, thorough overall store cleaning schedule.
Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces frequently.
Make hand sanitizer available to customers and employees.
Follow Minnesota Department of Heath guidance and relevant Executive Orders on face covering use by employees and customers unless a stronger store policy is articulated.
Add protective shields at checkout where social distancing is not practical.
Clean fitting rooms, especially high touch areas, following each customer use.
Modify merchandise return policies to accommodate cleaning and/or delay of product return to shelves.
Make gloves available to workers and articulate when gloves should be used.
In Other News...
Gathering at Warners' Stellian at 6:50 am Including Korean War Veterans
When Jodi Kurtz, WARNERS’ STELLIAN Store Manager, Past Chamber Chair and present City Planning Commissioner came to work at 6:50 today, she had a crowd including Korean War Veterans. They said they used to always meet at McDonald’s everyday but since they can’t, they hoped they could meet at WARNERS’ STELLIAN NEXT DOOR, Jodi said “Of Course” and she spoke to them at length about how they are coping with the crisis. This is the sort of Community Spirit and neighborly goodwill Apple Valley was, is and always will be about. Jodi shared this with Chamber President Ed Kearney and Mayor Mary and we plan to go embrace their community spirit hopefully with some donuts we bring. Jodi said to us, “Maybe the silver lining to all of this will be...RESPECT ONE ANOTHER AND BE NICE TO ALL.” Thank you Warners’ Stellian for saluting our citizens of Apple Valley.
Congratulations & Thank You!
In our recent virtual Business After Hours and virtual Coffee Connections, we've still been doing prizes! The Chamber has been giving out $25 giftcards to an Apple Valley restaurant of their choice. The first winner Sean Alter (Thrivent Financial) chose Vivo, the second winner Past Board Chair Brett McSparron (State Farm Insurance) chose Valley Diner & the third winner Chris Loth (Bogart's Entertainment Center) chose Red's Savoy Pizza. In addition to the Chamber's prize, Bogart's Entertainment Center has donated $25 giftcards. Thank you to Chris & Andrea Loth of Bogart's for your generous donation!
Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce | info@applevalleychamber.com