Situation Report COVID-19 Updates | April 1, 2020
Greetings and Happy Wednesday. I know we all are learning a new rhythm; SPACC is no different. This week our Situation Report will be Monday-Thursday, and moving forward they will be M-W-F. In each email starting next week I will target one of the programs we are learning about, attempting to address FAQs, suggest resources, and provide some direction as you weed through options to determine which programs apply to your organization.

April 1 is Census Day , a perfect day to complete the Census online at my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020. #WeCountMN #2020Census
As of yesterday, Minnesota has the #1 response rate for cities over 300k population. Self-response rates are updated daily on the 2020 Census Response Rate Map . I went online and completed the Census for my family. Take a moment and do so tonight! (Or, if you're one of the employers participating in our Census at Work www.censusatwork.com program, you can do that on Tuesday the 7th as well!)  

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) goes into effect today . For information and answers, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s resource page found here . As input and questions from the public are submitted, these resources are being updated regularly, so please visit often. Alternately, you can call their toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST) at 1-866-487-9243. 

Tax Savings Opportunities from the CARES Act , as provided by CliftonLarsonAllen.

Payroll Protection Program – is it ready? Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin yesterday announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.

“This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day. The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”

Is my business eligible for PPP?

  • Have no more than 500 employees (per location) or qualify via the applicable employee-based industry size standard as provided by the SBA;
  • Are NAICS 72 (lodging and hospitality, food and beverage retailing and catering services) with no more than 500 employees at a location;
  • Are franchisees operating under an SBA assigned franchise identifier code; or
  • Are sole proprietors, self-employed and independent contractors.
  • Please note that PPP borrowers are not eligible for the employee retention tax credit in the CARES Act.

See more details on the Payroll Protection Plan here .

 
Department of Commerce and Licensing Extensions - Several of you have asked about the Department of Commerce’s work to extend licensing deadlines for your sector (real estate, appraisers, salons, insurance…). Tuesday morning Commerce published an order extending deadlines for 15 of the licensees' organizations they are responsible for regulating. 
  • The order won't name the particular industries, but there will be regulatory guidance on their website for each of the 15 groups covered.
  • Insurance agents are the most pressing because a number of licensees had licenses due at EOM March. Will be extended.
  • Licensees should get emails, but should proactively check the website as well.

In the short term, individual questions are best directed to  licensing.commerce@state.mn.us

Don’t forget the SBA is still providing regular Disaster Funding Training and they have room in Thursday and Friday’s classes:

How are we doing getting more hospital beds ready?
From the Pioneer Press, updated today: “Minnesota emergency management officials said Monday they’ve begun to identify sites for 2,750 additional hospital beds to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic. These beds would create the ranks of what officials are referring to as “alternate care sites” that would be needed to allow hospitals to handle an anticipated surge of sick patients when the epidemic peaks here, perhaps in one to three months. The 2,750 would be in addition to the more-than 2,000 hospital beds already generally available throughout the state, and officials have a current goal of more than 5,000 total…” Should your organization want to be identified as an “alternative care site,” start by contacting us at channon@saintpaulchamber.com , and we will get you connected. 

On Tuesday, the Governor signed two more Executive Orders, 20-25 and 20-26, extending licenses for first responders and ensuring the medical cannabis program continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a moment of levity: if you are looking for a fun way to connect with your family: You Can Play These Popular Board and Card Games Online With Friends .


COVID-19 update by the numbers:
Confirmed cases: from 629 to 689
Cases requiring hospitalization: fr om 112 to 122
#s currently hospitalized: from 56 to 54
#s no longer needing to be isolated: f rom 288 to 342
#s tested: from 19,780 to 21,191
Total deaths: from 1 2 to 17
Counties represented:
Hennepin County: from 204 to 218
Ramsey County: fr om 56 to 66
Dakota County: from 47 to 48
Washington County: from 39 to 44

Be well !

B Kyle
President/CEO
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce