MN Legislature Passes Covid-19 Relief Package
In an unprecedented (and potentially unconstitutional) move, the Minnesota Legislature passed a $330.6 Million Bill on Thursday to further address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota. It passed the House 99-4 and the Senate 67-0 with many Members voting from outside the Legislative Chambers for the first time in Minnesota History. While the bulk of the package appropriated general fund money to create a COVID-19 Fund that the State would draw upon to help state agencies respond to the outbreak, there were portions of the bill that had direct effect on MLBA members.
Small Business Emergency Loan Program
In this section of the Bill, funds were transferred into the small business emergency loan account:
- $20,000,000 from the special revenue fund
- $10,000,000 from the Minnesota investment revolving loan account
For more details on the Small Business Emergency Loan Program please visit
Small Business Loan Guarantee Program
Today’s legislation made changes to the small business loan guarantee program which supports the organization of small business loans made to Minnesota small businesses by a Qualified Economic Development (QED) Lender. The loans are available within 12 months of the declaration of a peacetime public health emergency and not otherwise supported by a public entity.
- $10,000,000 appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic development.
- Applies to businesses employing no more than the equivalent of 250 full time employees
- Guaranteed portion of the loan by a QED lender must not exceed $200,000
- Loan guarantee applies only to the portion of the loan made by QED lender
- Non-guaranteed portion of the loan shall not receive preferential treatment
- QED lender shall not accelerate repayment of the loan if the borrower defaults unless:
Borrower fails to make a payment within 60 days of due date;
Commissioner consents in writing
Loan guarantee provides for accelerated repayment
To learn more about the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, visit https://mn.gov/deed/business/financing-business/guidance/sba-financing.jsp
Commissioner of Commerce Authority
- Commissioner may delay, waive, or stay licensing, investigative, or other deadlines related to the duties of the commissioner. Must treat similarly situated persons equally, provide relief or safe harbor from legal obligations with respect to licensees or other persons regulated by the Department of Commerce. Remains in effect for 60 days after peacetime emergency declaration.
Unemployment Insurance- retroactive to 3/1/20
- One week mandatory waiting period waived for employees
- Five week limitation for receipt of unemployment benefits for business owners is suspended
- Benefits paid as a result of an applicant not being able to work directly or indirectly as a result of the COVID-19 will not be used in computing the future unemployment insurance tax rate of a taxpaying employer
- A leave of absence is presumed to be involuntary if:
– a determination has been made by health authorities or by a health care professional that the presence of the applicant in the workplace would jeopardize; the health of others, whether or not the applicant has actually contracted a communicable disease;
– a quarantine or isolation order has been issued;
– self-isolation is recommended by health care professional due to being immunocompromised;
– instructed by employer not to come in to place of business due to outbreak;
– school district, day care, or other child care provider has canceled classes/services without other accommodations available.
Congress Passes and President Signs the $2 Trillion CARES Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed Friday will give most taxpayers who make under $75,000 a year a check for $1,200 per individual and up to $3,400 per family. The bill also contains many relief packages for small business. Restaurants, bars, clubs, bowling alleys and most other foodservice companies with fewer than 500 employees qualify for relief being offered to small businesses due to the impact of the worldwide pandemic. The CARES Act authorizes up to $349 billion in assistance through loans, grants and other programs, including:
- Paycheck Protection Program Loans (PPP) to cover payroll costs, mortgage interest costs, rent, utilities, etc that covers the period: February 15 to June 30, 2020.
- SBA Loan Forgiveness Program equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an eight-week period after loan origination date on payroll costs, interest payment on any mortgage, rent on any lease, and utility payment prior to February 15, 2020
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants to provide an “immediate” advance of up to $10,000 of working capital to businesses that have applied for Economic Injury Disaster Loans in response to Covid-19 — not available to cover Covid-19 costs if you opt for PPP loans (above)
These programs will be administered through the Small Business Administration (SBA), for more information go to the Senate Guide to the CARES act, click here.
It has also been suggested that you might first want to check with your local lender (bank or credit union you do business with) that may be able to get you these loans quicker than doing it yourself.