These are unprecedented times and we are grateful that you are continuing to trust ONB with your banking needs. There are a few local, state and national programs that have come available in recent days to try to address the immediate needs of small businesses affected by the recent COVID-19 related shutdowns. While things are changing on a daily basis, we are doing our best to stay informed and aware of everything being made available right now so that we can better serve you.
Olmsted County Small Business Relief Grants
Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) will oversee the Olmsted County Small Business Relief Grants Program approved by Olmsted County Board August 4, 2020. This program is funded by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security) Act.
This program will make available grants ranging up to $25,000 to small businesses owned and operated in Olmsted County that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically a 30% decrease in net profit or greater. Grant recipients will receive up to 50% of net losses from March 1 – June 30, 2020, or $25,000, whichever is less.
A total of $4 million is available for grant awards, with a priority given to under-served businesses (women-, military veteran-, and ethnic or racial minority-owned businesses), ultra-small businesses (those with six or fewer employees), businesses directly impacted by Governor Walz’s Executive Orders, and businesses that have not received aid from other government sources. Any business started before March 1, 2020, is welcome to apply, as are home-based businesses.
Awards will be disbursed and administered by RAEDI, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used to cover business expenses since March 1, 2020, including by not limited to payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other expenses in the regular course of business. These funds cannot be used to pay for expenses that are being funded by other CARES Act programs, or to pay tax liabilities (such as property taxes). These are grants and no repayment will be required; they are not loans.
Minnesota Department of Economic DEED Information:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program:
Congress authorized a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers those who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits, such as independent contractors and self-employed people. The program was authorized but must be created by the states, so Minnesota must build out this program before it can be implemented.
Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program:
This program provides a 80% loan guarantee for loans up to $250,000 made by a qualified economic development lender within this program. This program is intended to incent the private market to make loans to small businesses and provides the guarantee for those loan dollars. The state is providing a loan guarantee of $10 million which is likely to leverage between $20 and $25 million in lending by private banks.
Unemployment Insurance Shared Work Program:
The Shared Work program offers an alternative to layoffs for employers facing a temporary downturn in business. Administered by DEED’s Unemployment Insurance Division, the program allows employers to divide available hours of work among a group of employees instead of implementing a full layoff. These employees may then receive partial unemployment insurance benefits while working reduced hours. The purpose of Shared Work is to avoid a layoff, not to subsidize wages.
U.S. Small Business Administration Funding Options:
Paycheck Protection Program:
This program closed on August 8, 2020. SBA is now accepting PPP Forgiveness Applications. However, we have been advised to wait to submit forgiveness applications until further guidance is received. This is expected sometime mid-September. Please contact your PPP lender with any questions you may have in regards to the forgiveness piece.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and non-profit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDL is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.
SBA Express Bridge Loans:
Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
SBA Debt Relief:
As part of coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. This relief is not available for Paycheck Protection Program loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans. Borrowers do not need to apply for this assistance. It will be automatically provided as follows:
For loans not on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
For loans currently on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due after the deferment period has ended, and will make six monthly payments.
For loans made after March 27, 2020 and fully disbursed prior to September 27, 2020, SBA will begin making payments with the first payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
SBA has notified 7(a), 504 and Microloan Lenders that it will pay these borrower loan payments. Lenders have been instructed to refrain from collecting loan payments from borrowers. If a borrower’s payment was collected after March 27, 2020, lenders were instructed to inform the borrower that they have the option of having the loan payment returned by the lender or applying the loan payment to further reduce the loan balance after SBA’s payment.
Borrowers should contact their lender if they have any questions regarding this payment relief.
IRS COVID Tax Relief Information:
For even more information on resources to businesses during COVID-19, the Rochester Area Chamber has put together this page of resources that includes information on the following:
- COVID Preparedness Plan Template
- Department of Labor COVID-19 Page
- Industry Specific Guidance
- PPE Purchasing & Cleaning
- Safely Returning to Work
- Resources for Local Businesses
- Stay Safe Guidance (MN)
- License Grant Program
- RPU Utility Assistance
- County Small Business Grants
They also have all links for federal, state and local resources available to you.
Follow this link:
The City of Rochester has additional information on CORONAVIRS (COVID-19) Mitigation and Response. You can find this information here: