Register for Tomorrow'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
TOMORROW
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.

Apple Valley Business Update
Who is Open and Who is Closed
Since RETAIL was allowed to open yesterday by the Governor (with a few exceptions), we thought you would want to know what is now open in Apple Valley. We drove around town and took these photos. See captions underneath for specifics on what is open, what is still closed and what has closed permanently.
Famous Footwear and Hallmark were OPEN but Maurices remained CLOSED.
Ulta: you call the number on the door and they will bring your products out to you. Verizon is closed. Mattress Firm in front of Sams is CLOSED but OPEN on Cedar in front of Target.
Bachman's entry is through the outdoor plant area and you would exit through the store, which is fully OPEN. Savers remains CLOSED including drop off/donations.
Half Priced Books, the Original Mattress Factory and Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts are all fully OPEN. Sally Beauty is OPEN. Hawaii Poke is OPEN for takeout.
Petco is open (including grooming). Burlington Coat Factory is CLOSED. Best Buy is open for order online/curbside pick or by appointment. They will run in and get you items in person by request.
Party City is curbside only. Office Depot is OPEN. Goodwill is CLOSED including drop-off/donations.
Mattress Firm (Cedar location) is OPEN. GNC is OPEN. Tobacco & E-Cig is OPEN.
Oreck is OPEN but they had a sign in the window saying they are "David's Vacuums" now. We were unable to speak with them. UBreak IFix was OPEN. Pearle Vision was OPEN. Runner's Room was OPEN.
Apple Valley Ford is OPEN for service and the showroom is by appointment. The photo in the middle is Valley Buick GMC and they are fully OPEN including the showroom for walk-ins. Napa & al auto parts stores have been allowed to remain open as essential businesses. Kalli's Popcorn will CLOSE PERMANENTLY June 15th. Von Hansons and all 3 Apple Valley Liquor Stores are OPEN.
AV Tobacco & Vape is OPEN. Prime Outlet is OPEN. One of the most careful that we found was Jay F. Jeweler. They have a new remodeled showroom with plexi glass and new displays. They are OPEN and only 3 customers are allowed in the store at a time and you are greeted at the door with hand sanitizer, you must wear a mask and they prefer appointments.
Cartridge World is CLOSED PERMANENTLY. Christopher & Banks is still CLOSED. The UPS Store opened with a line next to Advance Auto Parts & Warners' Stellian, which have both been OPEN as essential businesses.
Divine Time is OPEN. Abdallah Candies & Gifts is OPEN. Midwest Dental near Target on Pilot Knob is CLOSED (however Valley Oaks Dental was OPEN as well as some other dentist offices).
Rita's Italian Ice is OPEN. Costa Vida is OPEN for takeout only. AT&T was OPEN on Pilot Knob (but the Cedar & 42 location is curbside only).
Shady Deals is OPEN. Flowerama is OPEN and fully stocked for spring plants.
Valley Bike & Ski is OPEN and will attend to 1 customer per salesperson while other wait in the lobby. Apple Valley Eye Care is OPEN but by appointment only. Gopher Mods is OPEN.
Creative Sewing & Vacuums is OPEN. McDonalds' newly remodeled exterior is takeout or driveup only, however we were surprised to see them with picnic tables on the patios with families eating. While we were driving, we took a photo of the new Menards which will open this summer. The "old" Menards and Home Depot are OPEN.
East Valley Shopping Center all stores appeared OPEN. The Flooring Expo is OPEN. Sleep Number is OPEN.
ACE Hardware is OPEN (service your mowers now!). T-Mobile is OPEN. Galaxie Floor is OPEN (check out their newly remodeled showroom!).
Pahl's Market is (and has been) OPEN and was packed today (Tuesday). Hirschfields is OPEN. Mainstream Boutique is OPEN.
Vivo is open but announced this past weekend that they will CLOSE PERMANENTLY by the end of the week (see extended information at the bottom of this email). Sprint is OPEN. The Ballpark is OPEN.
Sherwin Williams is OPEN. Batteries & Bulbs is OPEN. The Fan Man is OPEN.
Session Concludes,
Work Still to be Done
An Update from the MN Chamber
APPLE VALLEY CHAMBER NOTE: Our Chamber has worked closely every week since early January in assisting the MN Chamber with issues and at the Capitol for your concerns. It will now go to a SPECIAL SESSION in early June. In addition, yesterday the Mayor and us discussed another concern in addition to these issues. There was very few bonding dollars for Minnesota Zoo who needs to care for animals without any gate income and fixed expenses with animals and asset preservation. We are conducting a joint effort to reach out statewide to legislators to protect this state asset.
UPDATE FROM THE MN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The COVID-19 pandemic upended the 2020 legislative session, resulting in legislative breaks, remote hearings, limited public engagement and challenges to the governor’s peacetime emergency executive powers. The difficulties culminated to an inconclusive finish at midnight last night. Urgent priorities like delaying tax payments, providing small business relief through federal Section 179 conformity and covering the costs of a new unfunded worker’s compensation mandate were left incomplete. Governor Walz will likely call the Legislature back on June 12 in order to extend his current peacetime emergency authority.
 
The Minnesota Chamber will urge legislators to bring a laser focus to their work over the next several weeks: to help Minnesota find its footing in the economic devastation the pandemic has brought to so many employers in our state. To learn more about what transpired and what the future looks like at the Capitol, register for our session wrap-up webinar, Thursday, May 21. 

ISSUES IMPACTING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY
TAXES
  • The tax bill was tied up in the final negotiations on the bonding bill, and was not passed.
  • The Chamber advocated for tax policy changes to help mitigate economic impacts of COVID-19 by delaying tax payments and speed economic recovery by encouraging investment and tax relief, including:
  • Full conformity with Section 179 expensing. 
  • Conformity with interest expensing cap increase from federal CARES Act.
  • Waiver of penalties to allow for tax payment extensions.
  • Option for pass through entities to pay taxes at the entity level enabling full deduction of state income taxes at federal level.
  • As state policymakers were slow to act, over 40 counties provided a payment extension of May 15 property taxes. See the county-by-county property tax guide here.

WORKPLACE MANAGEMENT 
  • During the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers in Minnesota were subjected to new mandates under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • New mandates hurt employers and employees. Due to the pandemic crisis and economic impacts, the Chamber’s voluntary approach based on individual economic circumstances is the best approach to addressing employee leave initiatives.
  • In March, the Minnesota House passed its overreaching proposal to require a 24-week paid family and medical leave program on all employers in Minnesota. The Chamber vigorously opposed this proposal and helped ensure it was not considered in the Senate. 

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
  • Clean Cars rule-making was delayed due to COVID-19.
  • The final environment bill was not agreed to before adjournment, creating a possible issue for a special session. The bill contained Chamber priorities including:
  • Legislative approval of water quality fees.
  • 16-year waste water permits for industrial facilities.
  • Permit efficiency reporting requirements.

ENERGY
  • The Legislature agreed to a Renewable Development Account (RDA) spending bill that left $58 million in ratepayer dollars sitting in the account. The Chamber sought to return the unspent funds to the Xcel ratepayers but this amendment was voted down by the House and was not included by the Senate bill despite our efforts.
  • The House passed the “Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO)” Act, but the Senate did not take action. The bill created a new ratepayer-funded spending program and made controversial changes to the Conservation Improvement Program. The Chamber expressed significant concern about the additional costs for ratepayers.
  • The Senate passed the Natural Gas Innovation Act last week, but the House did not take action. The Chamber worked with stakeholders to include ratepayer protections.
  • Neither the full House or Senate took action on a bill to modify the existing preference for carbon-free power generation. Lawmakers from both parties raised concerns over the bill’s costs to both the state and ratepayers.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT 
  • In the final minutes of session, the House passed the omnibus education policy bill which included some early childhood education and care provisions the Chamber supports. The Senate adjourned before considering the legislation and it was not enacted.
  • A Select Committee on Minnesota’s Pandemic Response and Rebuilding was formed to allow the House to continue these conversations after the regular legislative session concludes, and education and workforce development needs – as well as worker safety and workers’ rights - will likely be a part of those discussions.

WORKERS' COMPENSATION
  • All businesses in Minnesota are required to carry – and pay for – workers’ compensation insurance, which is why the Minnesota Chamber maintains a statutory seat on the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC). In April, the WCAC approved legislation that provides a “presumption” for first responders as well as certain health care and child care workers responding to the COVID crisis. For most Minnesota employers, this policy change will not have a direct impact. However, since the cost is not fully understood nor was it provided for in the legislation, the Chamber is concerned this change will impose new costs on the workers compensation system as a whole.
In Other News...
Vivo Kitchen Closes
Like everyone else, we were very sad to learn that Vivo Kitchen will be closing its doors. In a statement made over the weekend, Vivo announced that they "have made the unbelievably difficult decision that VIVO will be closing its doors permanently on Sunday, May 24th. We will be offering curbside service this evening, Saturday, May 16th, and again Tuesday, May 19th- Saturday, May 23rd. We will continue to accept active VIVO gift cards through that time."

This is a terrible loss for the Apple Valley community. Vivo has been an integral part of the Chamber; from donating gift cards as raffle items to being a hole sponsor in our golf tournament to being a founding sponsor of Apple Valley Oktoberfest (to name a few). We will greatly miss working with the Vivo team and wish them all the best as they move through this difficult transition.
(above): Vivo is presented an award for being the Presenting Sponsor of Apple Valley Oktoberfest in 2017. From left is 2017 Board Chair Matt Schaap (Dougherty, Molenda, Solfest, Hills & Bauer P.A.), Vivo's David Peterson, Vivo's Jeff Mould and Apple Valley Chamber President Ed Kearney.
(above): Vivo chefs whip up delicious breakfast sandwiches for our golfers in their mobile kitchen at our 2018 golf tournament.
(above): Vivo at their booth at the County-Wide Business Expo.
(bove): Some Vivo team members pose at their hole sponsorship booth at
Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce | info@applevalleychamber.com