Worker and employer help in response to COVID-19

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic industries across the state and world have been impacted. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is updating its website with resources being made available to workers and employers throughout the state. The website includes information on loans/grants for businesses, unemployment insurance resources for workers, and health resources for businesses and employees. Workers are encouraged to apply for unemployment insurance using the unemployment insurance website as the phone lines are receiving a high volume of calls.

Questions for workers and employers: 651-259-7114 or 800-657-3858 

Click here for questions about unemployment insurance.

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 will be moving to virtual service model (remote services, video conferencing) beginning tomorrow.

Small business loan program: Established via Executive Order 20-15

  • Minnesota businesses can apply for zero-interest loans of between $2,500 – $35,000. Businesses are still encouraged to apply for loans through the SBA (below); however, these state-backed loans are meant to provide working capital that could be available more quickly than federal funds.

Small Business Association Economic Injury Disaster Loans

  • Governor Walz requested an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration earlier this week and the SBA opened applications online March 20. Businesses can apply for loans to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

It is likely more help is on the way as the state and federal government monitors the economy. Early this week Congress found agreement on an economic package that will impact workers and employers across the country. The US Senate has passed the bill and the House is expected to take it up soon.

It is also important for workers and employers to be in contact with their lenders if you anticipate financial difficulty. A lender and others you have bills with may work with you or have programs available that may assist you.

Business Guidance for the Stay at Home Executive Order

The most effective resource for employers or employees trying to determine how they are impacted by Executive Order 20-20 (Directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home) is through Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development: On this website, businesses may search their industry in various forms to determine whether they are essential, including:

Businesses Helping in COVID Response

Businesses across the state are helping health care workers and people in their community. Businesses who would like to offer resources, supplies, or personnel to COVID-19 response efforts should complete this distribution form or email Submissions will be reviewed by personnel in the State Emergency Operations Center. Businesses will be contacted if there is a need for the identified resources.

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