Employment and economic development resources for businesses and workers

Federal Resources

Small Business Resources – you can find a guide here

Small Business Administration: Two SBA emergency capital programs are available today and more will be coming soon

Low interest, long term Economic Injury Disaster Loans for up to $2 million: The first payment is deferred for 12 months. The application has been simplified and can be completed 100% online through our improved web portal at www.sba.gov/disaster.  These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75% and the loans can be extended over 30 years. 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance for up to $10,000: The form to apply is part of the economic injury disaster loan application. If approved, these funds can be used for payroll and other operating expenses and will be forgiven. This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending and will be forgiven.

Paycheck Protection Program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.  If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable.  This program is coming soon – and has not yet been rolled out by the SBA.  Available for nonprofits. 

Tax Provisions

Here are the tax provisions in the stimulus bill relevant for small businesses. Note that neither of these are available to business receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.

  • Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship
    • This provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
    • The credit is available to employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings or who have experienced a greater than 50 percent reduction in quarterly receipts, measured on a year-over-year basis.
    • The credit is not available to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program. The credit is provided through December 31, 2020.
  • Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes
    • Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.
    • Payroll taxes that can be deferred include the employer portion of FICA taxes, the employer and employee representative portion of Railroad Retirement taxes (that are attributable to the employer FICA rate), and half of SECA tax liability.
    • Deferral is not provided to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Assistance with filling out these applications:

State resources for businesses and workers

Small Business Emergency Loans which can be obtained from a local lender – you can find FAQs, application materials and lenders at the link. These loans are for $2,500 to $35,000 and at 0% interest rate. There is a total of $30 million available for this program. 

Small Business Loan Guarantee Program which can be obtained from a local bank lender.  This program was part of the state COVID package and provided a loan guarantee for loans made by a Qualified Economic Development Lender who can lend up to $200,000 within this program. This program is intended to incent the private market to make loans to small businesses and provides a 80% guarantee for those loan dollars.  The state is providing a loan guarantee of $10 million with is likely to leverage between $20 and $25 million in lending by private banks. 

City Loan Funds: Cities also have more flexibility due to the executive order and state COVID package with their own loan funds to support retail and service providers – businesses can reach out to their own city’s economic development departments to see if they have resources to assist as well.  Cities choose their own loan terms but can follow the state’s lead in making loans with low or 0% interest rates and forgivability. 

Visit this website for questions about unemployment insurance or to apply for UI benefits. MANY people want to access the new PUA program because they need funds now to pay for basic necessities. Here’s a quick guide of those programs and how they will roll out:

  • Self-Employed/Independent contractors: Congress authorized a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that covers those who do not qualify for regular UI benefits.  The program was authorized but must be created by the states (each state must build such a program).  The program is based on one that MN has run before, the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, but we are still waiting for federal guidance on some of the nuance of the program including who will qualify for the benefits and how those benefits will be calculated.  Benefits will be backdated to eligibility.  DEED will share more information as we receive it, but our UI team is working hard on figuring out next steps and a roll out plan.  This is likely to happen as the second component of the federal UI changes. 
  • Additional Benefits – Top up:  The federal legislation “topped up” UI benefits, PUA benefits and extended UI benefits by $600/week until July 31, 2020.  The UI team is working on how we will implement this and the timeline.  This will likely happen as the first component of the federal UI changes. 

For jobseekers: DEED noted the top job vacancies right now: transportation/material moving, sales and grocery, office/computer, healthcare. The state’s career force network is important for people trying to find work and has moved to virtual service model (remote services, video conferencing) at careerforcemn.com.