Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. The Lake of the Woods EDA (EDA) recognizes that we’re all affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the impacts everyone is facing, our small business community and its employees are being hit especially hard. The EDA in coordination with its partners are monitoring resources made available for businesses as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
- First, don’t lose hope. While things seem to change daily, and we don’t know how long this will last, this too will see an end. Eventually, we will return to normal, or at least a “new normal.” Your priority should be to take care of yourself and your family, but we also need to continue to take care of each other in our communities.
- Second, contact your lenders, suppliers, vendors, landlords, etc. and develop a plan for extended or modified payment terms. Explain your situation and ask for assistance. They will more than likely work with you to come up with a short-term solution. Again, everyone is in this together.
- Third, get things done that you’ve been too busy to accomplish. Get your financials in order, deep clean your space. Complete an in-depth inventory. Test out new ideas and approaches. Update or get a website.
Below is a summary of current resources and legislation (both approved and being considered) for businesses, pertaining to COVID-19. This is a remarkably fluid situation as more information becomes available, we will pass it on. If there is anything we can do to help your business at this time please let us know!
Lake of the Woods EDA
The Lake of the Woods EDA is in the process of developing an emergency microloan program. For more information contact: Ryan Zemek firstname.lastname@example.org, or 218-760-4729
U.S. Small Business Administration Loans Available Soon
The State of Minnesota is working to make all counties eligible for Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans, but we aren’t eligible quite yet. Loans can be used to pay fixed debts, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. We will share SBA loan application information as soon as it becomes available.
Sales Tax Grace Period
Restaurants, bars and other businesses impacted by the temporary closures now have a 30-day grace period in paying sales and use tax, under a grace period announced yesterday by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. This means that affected businesses with a monthly Sales and Use Tax payment due March 20, 2020 will have until April 20 to make that payment. These customers should still file their return by March 20. Penalties or interest will not be assessed during the grace period. Find out more at the Minnesota Department of Revenue website.
If you had to let employees go, let them know what is available to them: https://www.uimn.org/a…/needtoknow/news-updates/covid-19.jsp
Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the impact may apply for the Unemployment Insurance Shared Work Program. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs – retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits.
MN Department of Employment and Economic Development
Regular updates on available business resources from the State of Minnesota, resulting from legislation being currently drafted in St. Paul, will be posted on the following page: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/ Be sure to visit the FAQs link on the previous link for additional information.
Federal Legislation – Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The legislation guarantees free coronavirus testing, enhances Unemployment Insurance, strengthens food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding to states. In addition, the legislation creates two new paid leave programs that every business under 500 employees and all government employers must implement for their employees.