Situation Report COVID-19 Updates | May 11, 2020
To free up your email Inbox moving forward, these Sit Reps will now be sent on Monday and Thursday.
As we look ahead, thinking big picture, what’s changing? How are you preparing your business to recover from COVID-19?
Right now, outside of the pandemic itself what’s changing most seems to be the psychology of people , as measured by the level of anxiety and extent – and duration – to which people will go to avoid crowds. Today COVID-19 is keeping us apart. Tomorrow, it may be our own uncertainty driving the same behavior. Addressing this is of primary importance as we recover. When it is safe to reconvene, can we address employee and consumer concerns? If we have an ongoing unease about reconnecting, we can by that very uncertainty extend and deepen this pandemic-based recession.
Employee and customer demand is changing . Flexibility is key right now. Maybe we can bring that forward? How, when, and where can employees accomplish their work? What’s a new sales channel to reach clients? Remember, we mustn’t be in service to our business model; we must be in service to the demand before us. There’s no more “going back to normal.” It’s not going to be the same. We will need to embrace the new normal, the “better normal,” in terms of opportunity before us.
Prepare for a recovery that is faster than you think. Certainly, the pace of recovery is yet uncertain. It may be longer, given the virus, the economic impact to businesses, and the psychology of the consumer discussed above. Alternately, it may be faster than you think. If you look at economic recovery data for China, for example, their recovery is coming along at a rate much higher than predictions. This recession is based on something outside of the economy’s fundamentals. We, too, should be prepared. So what can we do?
  1. For one, businesses with more than one sales channel are doing better. Retailers with only one access point to customers, such as a brick and mortar store, clearly are suffering. Those with online options are doing better.
  2. Clients’ needs are changing. And can your organization change for them?
  3. Continue to nurture your prospects. Stay in touch with them (they’re still out there!), let them know how your company is adapting, stay front of mind and demonstrate your adaptability.
  4. Prepare now for a probable increase in demand. I anticipate that the second half of this year will be busier than ever. For all of us.
Finally, a call-out for support: The chambers and other 501c6 organizations could use your help. There is a new bill in Congress, HR 6697, that specifically aims to get chambers and c6 organizations access to PPP funding . Contact your Congressional representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. Share this link with them .

SHOUT-OUTS, #BusinessDoingGood
  • #GiveAtHomeMN ended on Friday. Great success this year! Over $5.2M was raised, representing 33,408 donations in support of 2,804 organizations. Thank you for all you are doing to support your communities every day!
  • The St. Paul Downtown YMCA is providing FREE meals to our community through a partnership with Loaves and Fishes and United Health Group. Food pick-up is M-F from 12-1pm and is open to ALL. They are providing bagged lunches and trays of food that feed a family of 4-6. It has been incredibly popular with our downtown community as food insecurity continues to rise.
Today’s 2pm Media Briefing, 5/11:
  • Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm and Kris Ehresmann
  • The median age for COVID-19 patients is 44.1 years old.
  • The testing model, being developed by partners including Mayo Clinic and U of M, is planned to be introduced this week.
  • Good news over the weekend: a small supply of remdesivir arrived in MN. This is an antiviral medication for which, on May 1, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for treating COVID-19 patients. This drug has demonstrated that it shortens the recovery time, from a standard 15 days to 11 days.
  • Dental elective care allowed as of today, clinics are allowed to make individual determinations based on the their facilities and available stock of PPE.
Other Updates
  • Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) is providing a data report-out and asking for diverse Asian Minnesotans to complete a survey. This Thursday, May 14th from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, the Center of Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) will provide an update about ongoing research on the economic challenges and assets in the Asian Minnesotan community. Register here and consider taking their economics survey before May 15th.

  • State of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is hosting an upcoming virtual speaker series, the next one on May 21st, 9-10am. The event will feature Eric Seleznow from Jobs for the Future who will offer a national perspective and update on workforce development and information about employment-based training from JFF. His talk will focus especially on how employment-based training can be used as a tool for business recovery from the current COVID-19 situation. Register here to attend. 
In the State Legislature
We can anticipate a busy week ahead:
  • Today, the COVID-19 fund expires (must be extended by the Legislature).
  • Wednesday, the current Peace Time Emergency declaration expires.
  • Monday, May 18, the current Stay At Home order expires and the Legislature ends its regular session (Legislature must be in session when there is a declared peace time emergency).

COVID-19 update as of 5/11/2020
Confirmed cases in Minnesota: from 10,088 to 11,799
Confirmed cases in U.S. (as of 5/11): over 1.3M
Confirmed cases globally (as of 5/11): over 4.1M
Cases requiring hospitalization: fr om 1,549 to 1,716
#s currently hospitalized: from 473 to 452
#s no longer needing to be isolated: f rom 5,697 to 7,536
#s tested: from 101,270 to 115,781
Total deaths in Minnesota : from 534 to 591 (472 cases in long term care or assisted living facilities)
Total deaths in U.S. (updated 5/11): almost 80,000
Total deaths globally (updated 5/11): over 284,000
Cases in Counties represented:
Hennepin County: from 3,744 (398 deaths)
Ramsey County: fr om 800 to 986 (47 deaths)
Dakota County: from 364 to 471 (15 deaths)
Washington County: from 211 to 256 (15 deaths)
The interactive Minnesota COVID-19 Public Dashboard can be found  here .  
  • Main Street Lending Program: The US Chamber of Commerce on Friday released a new guide to help businesses navigate the Main Street Lending Program. This is a lending program separate from the PPP that is designed to assist businesses with up to 15,000 employees through government-backed loans. Click here to download the guide

  • If your small business is within ½ mile of Allianz Field, apply for a grant from the Neighbors United Funding Collaborative. This grant is specifically for small businesses within a half mile of Allianz Field with annual revenue below $3 million who are either a small business or nonprofit with a retail or service-based business model.

  • North Risk Partners is offering a guide and sample plan to help you build your action plan for bringing employees back to work.

  • Paycheck Protection Program still has money available for organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19. Contact a participating lenders. 

SBA Training:

SBA Funding Options for COVID-19 Related Economic Disruptions
Tuesday, May 12 | 9:00 AM | Register

SBA Funding Options for COVID-19 Related Economic Disruptions
Thursday, May 14 | 9:00 AM | Registe r

SBA Money Smart Risk Management for Small Business Training
Wed, May 13 | 1:00 PM | Register 

SBA Money Smart Financial Management for Small Business Training
Thu, May 14 | 1:00 PM | Register

SBA Info:
Local Partner Info
DLI Worker Protections Pages
Visit our e vents 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 well!

B Kyle
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce