Situation Report COVID-19 Updates | August 10, 2020
Sending warmest thanks to the Pioneer Press for publishing our op ed online Friday and in Sunday’s paper. Our We St. Paul/Midway fund is already in our 3rd round of funding, we still have funds to contribute, and more businesses are leaning in every day. Thank you, business community, for your contributions. You are extraordinary!

Are you interested in learning more about economic conditions in the six states of the Ninth District? The Minneapolis Fed regularly gathers survey data from firms throughout the Ninth District to better track pandemic effects on businesses and the broader economy. The most recent survey of businesses, closed in late July, received more than 1,100 responses from a wide range of firms from each of the six states in the Ninth District, thanks to the help of more than 30 business and economic development organizations across the District.
 
Join Ron Wirtz, Regional Outreach Director for the Minneapolis Fed, for a live, free webinar on Thursday, August 20, at 9:00 a.m. to hear about the latest survey results and to learn where and whom the pandemic is hitting the hardest. 

BUSINESS ASSISTANCE FUNDS
 
Ramsey County: Ramsey County Small Business Relief Fund ($7M): Round 2 open through August 17, targeting self employed/sole proprietors, and small businesses with 20 employees or fewer.
 
The application for We St. Paul/Midway fund remains live. Please apply, and share with any businesses you know were impacted by the civil unrest: See Application here.
 
East Side Area Business Association (ESABA) has opened an assistance fund. East Side Business Assistance Fund – Donate or Request Help!
 
Washington County business assistance fund: Washington County is launching a $10 million program to provide grants to small businesses within the county to help them recover from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The fund will provide one-time grant awards of up to $15,000 are available to eligible applicants to assist with non-payroll expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, payments to suppliers and other operational expenses. The online application will be available August 10 through 24. Find out more.

Dakota County Small Business Relief Grant Program
Dakota County has allocated $10 million to support small businesses that have had a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One-time grants up to $10,000 will be awarded to eligible applicants to assist with payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other operational expenses that have occurred since March 1, 2020. Applications accepted through August 14. 

Burnsville CARES Business Grant Program
The City of Burnsville will also provide grants up to $20,000 to assist eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. The City has set aside $1 Million in the Burnsville CARES Business Grant Program so that a business of any type, any size with a physical presence in Burnsville can access assistance of up to $20,000. Applications accepted through August 14.

Rosemont Cares: Grants of up to $10,000 available to local small businesses in Rosemount. Application period opens on August 10. Learn more
 
SBA is offering disaster assistance (low interest disaster loans) to businesses and residents of MN affected by civil unrest
 
 
#BusinessDoingGood
  • Ecolab has contributed free gallons of bleach to the community! One venue is the iHelpMarket, 100% free grocery store. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-4pm, located in the North End of St. Paul.
 
#BackToBusiness
Around the Airport construction project update: next phase begins Friday, August 14. See the new road work and ramp closures in the attached one-sheet and in the interactive map at aroundtheairport.com. Select the “Mid August-Fall 2020” within the Map Key under Project Timeline.
  • Eastbound Highway 5 (to St. Paul) will reopen to traffic.
  • Westbound Highway 5 will close to traffic between the Highway 5/62/55 interchange and 494 through the fall.
  • Eastbound 494 between Highway 5 and 35E is anticipated to fully close to traffic for pavement work on the following weekends (Friday evening through early Monday morning): August 14-17 and August 21-24
 
  • EO 20-82 issued Thurs, July 30: authorizing and requiring Commissioner of Education to require “safe and effective learning environment for 2020-21 school year
  • EO 20-81 issued Wed, July 22: requiring Minnesotans to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • EO 20-80 issued Fri, July 17: extending the relief of motor carriers and drivers

Monday, Administration Updates: Commissioner Malcolm

Friday, Aug 7, Administrative Updates: Commissioner Malcolm, State Epidemiologist Dr. Lynfield
  • Case growth is showing in outstate counties: McCloud, St. Lewis, Blue Earth
  • 7-day average case growth has dropped to 8.7, down from 10% 1 week ago.
  • Median age remains at 36.0 years old.
  • 7-day average positivity rate remains at 5.3%. Up from 4.9% 1 week ago.
  • Growth rate in total testing volume is 9.5%, continues to outpace growth of new cases which is 8.7% week to week.
  • Notes on LTC facilities:  
  • We are seeing rising rates in the community, including LTC. 
  • Originally, majority of cases had been in residents. Since June, staff have been the majority of cases in LTC facilities.
  • Data on all cases in last few months shows increasing trend of large gatherings being reported, including church, sporting events, concerts, weddings, family gatherings.
  • Staff testing positive are contracting largely through community, not residents.
 
  • Mask distribution: still need masks? Contact a chamber near you; most of us have a limited number still available. Coordination on-site pick-up at SPACC with staci@saintpaulchamber.com.


  • US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe’s alarm From the Pioneer Press, Aug 9: ROME — With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.

  • Twin Cities banks assess end of PPP loans and start of forgiveness From the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Aug 7: The time to get a loan Paycheck Protection Program through the U.S. Small Business Administration ends on Friday at 11:59 p.m. eastern standard time. Roughly $128 billion remains available but demand has slowed to a trickle. On Monday, the SBA will begin accepting applications for forgiveness. Banks in the Twin Cities that participated in the program shared their thoughts on how it's working, what questions remain and what clients need to know about the forgiveness. Also, the program went through multiple changes and lenders are expecting Congress to tweak it even more.


  • Logistics companies add jobs during Covid-19  From the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Aug 7: Despite worries of lost business at the start of Covid-19, leaders of several logistics companies in the Twin Cities said they’ve made it this far without job losses.


 
Legislature:
  • On Friday, Governor Walz issued a proclamation calling for a third Special Session to begin on Wednesday, August 12, in order to extend the Peacetime Emergency powers that have been in place since mid-March. The House and Senate likely will only take up the extension of the Peacetime Emergency.
 
Congress:
  • From Lockridge Grindal Nauen, 8/10: Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, along with Representatives Angie Craig, Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, and Tom Emmer, announced last week that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency a grant of $6,972,739 to help low-income families and other vulnerable citizens, including those experiencing homelessness. The grant funding from HUD will provide project-based rental assistance funding to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. The grant is awarded through a HUD program that supports eligible state housing finance agencies for extremely low-income persons with disabilities aged 18-61 and for agencies that have developed methods for identifying, referring, and conducting outreach to target populations with extremely low-incomes and disabilities requiring long-term services and support

  • On Saturday, President Trump took executive action in response to what he said was a lack of Congressional progress in the next round of pandemic relief. Read a summary of the actions from the White House. Note that the unemployment assistance order requires State of Minnesota action The various executive actions surrounded:
  • Payroll taxes
  • Unemployment assistance
  • Eviction moratoriums
  • Student loans

 
COVID-19 update as of 8/10/2020
Confirmed cases in Minnesota: 61,516
% Positives, last 7 days (as of 8/10): 5.4% (increase from last week)
Confirmed cases in U.S.: over 5M
Confirmed cases globally: almost 20M
Cases requiring hospitalization: 5,606 (representing 9.1% of total)
#s currently hospitalized: 320 (up from 319 on 8/6)
#s no longer needing to be isolated: 54,364
#s tested: 1,172,118
Total deaths in Minnesota: 1,660 (1,250/75.8% cases in long term care or assisted living facilities)
Total deaths in U.S.: over 163K
Total deaths globally: almost 735K
Cases in Counties represented:
Hennepin County: 19,472 (835 deaths)
Ramsey County: 7,658 (267 deaths)
Dakota County: 4,480 (106 deaths)
Washington County: 2,155 (45 deaths) 
 
Resources
  • See available SBA COVID-19 training here.
 
 
Visit our events page for webinars and events and the Ramsey County Means Business page for information to help businesses navigate resources during this pandemic. If you need more personalized assistance, contact our Rapid Response Team to assist you in finding an answer.
 
Be safe and be well,

B
 
B Kyle
President/CEO
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce