Information for Businesses/Employers
Guidance on Businesses Reopening (Executive Order 20-40)
Those who work in manufacturing, industrial and office settings will return to work Monday, April 27 if their companies can prove to the State of Minnesota that they have a COVID-19 preparedness plan, are able to social distance and are able to screen the health of employees when they arrive at work, according to a new executive order. If it's still possible to work remotely, businesses are encouraged to continue to do so.
None of the newly exempted businesses have face-to-face interactions with customers, by design. More information about which businesses are now exempted can be found at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development website – View more information
U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – The Paycheck Protection Program is a federal $350 billion loan program for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization, or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. The loan program also has a forgivable component – View more information
Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the U.S. Small Business Administration's size standards for those industries. Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible if their individual locations employ less than 500 workers.
Small Business Assistance – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has requested an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration, clearing the way for businesses to apply for loans to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of impacts due to coronavirus.
- U.S. Small Business Administration COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources – View more information
- U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance – View more information
- If you have questions, please call the U.S. Small Business Association Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955
DEED Loan Program – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has created a Small Business Emergency Loan Program – View more information
The program will make $30 million available to a lending network that will make loans of between $2,500 and $35,000 for qualifying small businesses. The loans will be 50% forgivable, and offered at a 0% interest rate. These emergency loans will be made by an existing network of 23 lenders DEED works with across the state. Depending on the size of the loans offered to businesses, DEED estimates this emergency loan program will provide needed resources to between 1,200 and 5,000 businesses.
Those with questions about the program should contact DEED at ELP@state.mn.us.
Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) also offers the Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program to help provide capital to small businesses (fewer than 250 employees) affected by COVID-19. These loans can be subordinate to other financing sources.
Allowable loan uses must be exclusively in Minnesota and include machinery or equipment purchases, maintenance or repair; expenses related to moving into or within Minnesota; and working capital when the working capital is secured by fixed assets when possible. These loans will not be issued directly by DEED, but will instead be issued by approved lenders. As lenders are approved, they will be listed on the DEED website – View more information
Information and Resources – Information and resources for employers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – View more information
Essential Businesses – If you feel your business is essential/critical, but wasn’t classified as such, you can request/apply for an exemption from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry – View more information (PDF)
Learn more about the Emergency Stay at Home Order/Establishment of Essential Workers – View more information
Additional Unemployment Insurance – Additional Unemployment Insurance information for employers affected by COVID-19 from the State of Minnesota – View more information
Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Offers newly approved paid leave, coronavirus free testing, protections for public health workers, and benefits for children and families. Read the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (PDF) and view more information in the "What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?" section below.
Sales tax relief information
- State of Minnesota sales tax relief – View more information
- Federal sales tax relief – View more information
Information for Employees
- Information and resources for workers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – View more information
- Newly approved paid leave, free Coronavirus testing, additional protection for public health workers and benefits for children and families information from the House Committee on Appropriations – View more information (PDF)
- Unemployment information for workers from the State of Minnesota – View more information
- Unemployment insurance FAQs from the State of Minnesota – View more information
Additional COVID-19 business resource links
- Information from the U.S. Small Business Administration – View more information
- Information from the U.S. Department of Labor – View more information
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Q&A from the U.S. Department of Labor – View more information
- List of Executive Orders from Governor Tim Walz – View more information
The Minnesota Department of Revenue will grant a 30-day Sales and Use Tax grace period for businesses impacted by the closures from the Governor's executive order, which temporarily closed bars, restaurants and other places of entertainment Executive Order 20-04 (PDF). During this time, penalties or interest will not be assessed.
Impacted businesses with a monthly Sales and Use Tax payment due March 20, 2020 will have until April 20, 2020 to make that payment. Those businesses should still file their return by March 20, 2020. Businesses can request additional relief from penalty and interest for reasonable cause after April 20, 2020.
The federal government has issued guidance explaining its plan for the April 15 tax filing deadline. While individuals and businesses will similarly still need to file by April 15, individuals are allowed to defer up to $1 million of tax liability, and corporations get an extension of up to $10 million. Note that many individual taxpayers may still want to file their taxes sooner if they qualify for a refund.
Tax relief information:
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides paid leave, establishes free testing, works to protect public health workers, and provides benefits to children and families.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides paid sick leave and partially paid family and medical leave for eligible workers. Some of the key details are summarized below:
- Workers are eligible for 80 hours of paid sick leave at 100% of their regular wages (up to $511 per day) if they are 1) quarantined, 2) experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, 3) caring for someone who is quarantined, or 4) caring for their own child because school or child care facilities are closed because of the outbreak. Note that workers who are simply out of work because their employer shut down are not eligible for this benefit.
- Workers are also eligible for up to 10 weeks of partially paid emergency leave at two-thirds of their regular wages (up to $200 per day). This emergency leave can only be used by a worker 1) if the worker is sick, or 2) to care for the worker's child, if school or child care are closed.
In general, these provisions apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Information about the Families First Coronavirus Act (PDF) from the House Committee on Appropriations
Additional legislation may be coming out soon with assistance for targeted business sectors and independent contractors.
Parents/guardians needing childcare resources can call Childcare Aware of Minnesota at 1-888-291-9811 or go to parentaware.org to search for childcare options.
One way Minnesota businesses may be able to get assistance is through low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has requested an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration, clearing the way for businesses to apply for loans to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid due to coronavirus impacts. For more information and to apply, refer to the Disaster Loan Assistance information page from SBA.
If you have questions, please call the U.S. Small Business Association Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955. Minnesota is expected to be added to the eligibility list for loans shortly. More information can be found at the COVID-19 Small Business Guidance Loan Resources page from SBA.
Minnesota Unemployment Shared Work Program: Shared Work is offered by the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program to help employers avoid a layoff.