Yesterday, we passed legislation to help protect Minnesotans’ health and economic well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides emergency loans for small businesses, grants for child care providers who care for the children of emergency workers, support for a new COVID-19 fund, funding for food and housing security, financial assistance for veterans, and more. Details are available here.
While this legislation will help with some of the challenges that Minnesotans are experiencing, there are more issues we’ll need to address in the coming days, weeks, and months. My colleagues and I will continue working hard on behalf of the people of Minnesota.
Stay at Home Order
Governor Walz has issued an executive order directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside their homes. The order takes effect today at 11:59 p.m. and ends on April 10 at 5 p.m.
You’ll still be able to leave your home for essential activities like buying groceries, getting medical care, and exercising. However, you should keep a six-foot distance between yourself and others while doing so. You shouldn’t go to work unless you work in a critical sector that is exempt from the stay at home order. Resources to help you determine if you’re eligible for an exemption are available here. More information about the stay at home order is available here.
Support for Small Businesses
Minnesota small businesses and non-profits are now eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The federal agency is accepting applications for low-interest loans of up to $2 million. Click here for more information about the loan program and how to apply.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will be offering zero interest loans between $2,500 and $35,000 through the Small Business Emergency Loan program. Information about this new program is available here.
MNsure Special Enrollment Period
In response to the growth of COVID-19 cases, MNsure launched a special enrollment period for Minnesotans who are currently without insurance. The special enrollment period began on March 23 and runs through April 21, giving qualified individuals 30 days to enroll in health coverage through MNsure.org. For free assistance, click here to find a MNsure expert assister or call 651-539-2009 or 855-366-7873.
Tax Filing Deadline Extended
The Minnesota Department of Revenue recently announced that the state income tax filing deadline has been extended. Minnesotans now have until July 15 to file their returns without any penalties or interest. The deadline for filing federal tax returns was pushed back to July 15 as well. Additional information is available here.
Up-to-date and accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic is available at www.health.state.mn. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website has sections in Hmong, Spanish, and Somali. Information in PDF format is available for other non-English languages too: Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Karen, Russian, and Vietnamese.
Governor Walz is holding regular briefings on this evolving situation. These briefings are a great source of information, and they are often streamed live on the Governor’s Facebook page, linked here. I will do my best to keep you updated as well.
Please keep sharing your questions and input and let me know if I can be of assistance. You can reach me at email@example.com or 651-296-1188.
Stay safe and help others if you can!