COVID-19 INFORMATION & RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES


Since the pandemic has started, the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce has been an advocate for the membership.  We’ve continued to supply important information to members as that information was available.  That continues to this day and will continue in the future! We have continued to be a voice with local and state leaders on […]

Message from Chamber President, Pete Turok

November 19, 2020


QUICK LINKS

We are attempting to keep the information on this page up to date; however, please refer to sources below for up-to-the-minute information.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. 1
    Are there still free masks available for my business?

    Yes, As of Aug. 21, there are still masks available for you to supply to customers who come into your business. These are free to you from the state of MN and available for pick up at the Chamber office. The Chamber is required to track the distribution of the masks, so please download and complete this form, and bring it with you when you pick up the masks.

  2. 2
    What do I need to know about about face coverings for my business?

    DEED has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list that will answer many of the questions you might have.  READ THE FAQ

  3. 3
    What is the Small Business Relief Grant Program?

    The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – will begin accepting applications June 23.

    This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

    Additional requirements include:

    • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
    • $10 million for minority business enterprises
    • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
    • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
    • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

    “Small businesses across our state urgently need this relief,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED applauds the bipartisan action to pass this legislation, and we are grateful to Governor Walz for signing the bill quickly so we could immediately get this grant program up and running.”

    The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

    To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

    DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

  4. 4
    What is the CARES Act, and what can it offer my business?

    The programs and initiatives in the Corona Virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.  Read the Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act created by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

    You can also find A Guide for Minnesota Small Businesses Who Need Help on the MN DEED web site.

  5. 5
    Where do I get employer information about unemployment insurance?

    We know you are looking for ways to be flexible and accommodate the needs of your workforce. The MN Unemployment Insurance office is the best source of information on the role that Unemployment Insurance (UI) can play in your planning. Read more.

  6. 6
    How do I apply for unemployment insurance?

    The state of Minnesota has recently made applying for unemployment simpler in response to current economic situation. Find out more and apply.

  7. 7
    Where can I get guidance identifying workplace risk levels?

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed COVID-19 planning guidance for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE). The guidance is intended for planning purposes – employers and workers should use the planning guidance to help identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement.  Get more information

  8. 8
    Where can I get the most reliable information about actions the U.S. government is taking?

    For the latest information about actions being taken by the U.S. government, go to https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus and in Spanish at https://gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus.

  9. 9
    What are the guidelines for social distancing at my workplace?

    There is a lot of information being circulated making it difficult to separate truth from fiction. The World Health Organization has the more trustworthy information on practicing social distancing. Read more

  10. 10
    Where can I get information about disaster recovery lending?

    (Mar 20, 2020)  The SBA has disaster assistance available to small businesses affected by COVID-19 through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. In preparation for the declaration to go through and the program to start rolling,  it’s recommended businesses sign up to receive the newsletter at www.sba.gov/updates.  

    Need to apply for disaster assistance? 

    You can keep tabs on actions coming Governor Walz’ office here.

  11. 11
    Are there some things we can do NOW to prepare for returning to work safely?

    An estimated 82% of Minnesota jobs have been deemed “essential” under Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-20 and associated guidance from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. These businesses have detailed strategies to protect their workforce from the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. Based on the best practices shared by employers in these critical industries, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce provides the following guidelines and suggestions to assist other Minnesota businesses in their efforts to provide safe workplaces for their employees and customers as they come back online. Download Guide

    MN DEED has created a downloadable COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template.

    Visit the MN DEED web page on Safely Returning to Work.

     

  12. 12
    Can my business be open?

    On April 23, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-40, which allows workers in industrial and office settings to return to work, subject to several conditions. First, all workers who can work from home must continue to do so. There are also a number of other conditions laid out in the executive order, including creating a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and conducting health screenings of employees each day at arrival.   Read MN DEED’s outline of businesses that can re-open and what is required to do so.

  13. 13
    What is the Chamber’s COVID-19 Action Plan?

    he global COVID-19 pandemic has us all in uncharted territory. We continue to watch the developments and their implications in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. Amidst the uncertainty, one thing is clear. We are in this together; as an organization and as a community. We want to you to know that the Anoka Area Chamber office will remain open and will do its best to support members with resources and ideas throughout the pandemic. Helping your organization weather this storm is our top priority.

    We’ve received many questions via phone and emails from members. We know that many of you are feeling uncertain about not only the future, but how to manage day-to-day operations right now. We share your concerns and will do our best to listen, support you, and connect you to helpful resources. We will continue to keep you informed, to the extent that we can, about what is happening in our communities and about existing and emerging resources that you can use moving forward. We are in the process of adding a dedicated page to the Chamber web site where you’ll be able to find updates and links to resources. Our response to this will continue to evolve as the situation unfolds.

    The Anoka Area Chamber Board of Directors has put in place “social distancing” procedures for the staff and related Chamber functions. Unfortunately, this involves the suspension of in-person events. We will not hold any in-person networking events for the foreseeable future. We are, however, exploring the use of virtual technology for meetings.

    The Board of Directors has decided that we would rather look like we have overreacted than to put anyone in jeopardy. We must do our part to flatten the curve. Know that we are all in this together. We are stronger together and will find our way to the other side of this global crisis. We will continue to provide updates as feasible. In the meantime, the staff and Board of Directors wishes you, your family, and your business good health.

  14. 14
    Is the Chamber open?

    The physical Chamber office is closed, however, the Chamber is open. Chamber staff are working remotely. You can contact them by phone (763-421-7130) or by email (mail@anokaareachamber.com) Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm