Business Resources and News on COVID-19
The Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce understands that this is an uncertain time with many businesses asking critical questions. Our Board of Directors and staff are working closely with community partners and our peers in Dakota County, at the MN Chamber of Commerce and US Chamber of Commerce to provide reliable information for the health of your business. The resources below will be updated daily so please check back for the most up to date information. We believe in the strength, creativity and resiliency of our local businesses. Please reach out to the Hastings Chamber with helpful information, ideas or needs as they come about. Now is the time to unite as one community, we are stronger together.
The Chamber staff will be working remotely as we practice social distancing, the best way to reach us is via email.
Click Here to few multiple webinars that address business concerns and questions in the COVID-19 era.
On Friday, June 5th, Governor Walz announced plans for phase three of reopening Minnesota's economy. Highlights of the announcement included increasing outdoor gatherings to 25 people (still 10 people if indoors); restaurant and bar indoor capacity is allowed to 50% (up to 250 people) and outdoor capacity is raised to 250 people; personal care services are increased from 25% to 50%; places of worship capacity is advanced to 50%, the 250 people maximum remains the same. Additional businesses that will be opened are gyms and fitness centers at 25%, not to exceed 250 people; indoor entertainment (movie theaters, bowling centers, etc.) are being opened up to 25%; outdoor entertainment may open up to 250 people; pools may open up to 50% capacity. Low-risk sports may begin with social distancing maintained, high-risk sports continue to be restricted.
Here are links from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development website relating to Phase III and future Phases:
Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan with information on Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and Phase IV: CLICK HERE
Detail information on the Stay Safe Plan: CLICK HERE
Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening Businesses: CLICK HERE
Do you have a Pandemic Safety Plan in place?
Recent survey data says 72% of Americans are fearful of going back to normal purchasing practices. It is extremely important to build consumer confidence NOW. Make sure your customers and employees know how you plan to keep them safe. Below are a few resources to help businesses prepare their plan.
- Find an Employer Preparedness Requirements HERE.
- MN Guidance on Reopening can be found HERE.
- Find templates HERE. This template was created with non-customer facing businesses in mind.
- Follow guidelines set out by MNOSHA.
- Find Frequently Asked Business Questions HERE.
- The City of Hastings is offering HEART Grants of up to $4,000 for businesses to off set costs related to their pandemic safety plan. The applications for HEART Grants will be open until May 12th and can be found HERE.
- Remember you know your business model the best. Be creative while keeping the safety of employees and customers in mind.
When you have a plan in place, please let us know! We would like to promote it for you. Email Kristy@hastingsmn.org.
Funding Options: Federal & State
- DEED Small Business Relief Grants - This program will make available $10,000 grants to Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications must be in by July 2nd, 2020.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This resumed April 27th.
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guidance for employers – Links to information on small business products and loans, guidance on access to capital and the local assistance directory.
Taxes & Regulations
- MN Department of Revenue overview on Income Taxes, Business Taxes & Property Taxes as they relate to COVID-19
- Sales and Use Tax Extension - Minnesota Department of Revenue is granting a 30-day Sales and Use Tax grace period for businesses identified in Executive Order 20-04. During this time the department will not assess penalties or interest.
- Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan Newsroom - Get the latest news, press releases and statements from Governor Walz.
- Unemployment Insurance is open for all MN workers. To receive assistance fast, apply online.
- FAQ on Unemployment Insurance: DEED - Governor signed to ensure Minnesotans affected by the COVID-19 crisis have access to unemployment benefits, and to ensure that businesses aren’t required to pay into the system to cover these additional costs.
- DEED Shared Work Program - For employers that need to reduce workers' hours and avoid layoffs.
- Employer Guide to COVID-19 Paid Leave Program
- Guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-10 (OSHA)
Hastings and Dakota County Updates
Click the links below for the most up to date community information from the City of Hastings, School District 200, Dakota County and Regina Hospital
Facts Surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates - Ongoing updates on the disease, how it is spread and testing.
- CDC guidelines for business - Health and workplace details and suggestions surrounding COVID-19.
- MN Department of Health - Guidance for all Minnesotans on Coronavirus.
How can you help in your community?
- Use the resources above to set a pandemic plan and share that plan with your employees and customers. Communicate quickly each time their is a change in the plan.
- Reach out to your business owner peers to offer support and brainstorm ideas. Join the Hastings Businesses Band Together Facebook page and share information that has helped your business manage the effects of COVID-19. The Chamber staff can also help in making connections via email.
- Purchase take out from your local restaurants and but gift cards for all other services effected by social distancing (salons, retailers, auto shops, etc.)
- Keep your gym membership, we will all need a place to socialize and stay healthy when this passes!
- Stay up to date on the needs of our non-profits as they continue to provide assistance. Hastings Family Service, Hastings United Way and 360 Communities
- Thank all those on the front line, especially healthcare professionals.
- Continue to follow recommendations from the CDC surrounding social distancing and hand washing.