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RELEASE: Theis votes for business relief bill

Thursday, December 17, 2020

News Release  


ST. PAUL, MN — The Minnesota House and Senate approved a $216 million business relief package Monday, sending to the Governor's desk a bill to help small businesses and workers impacted by Governor Walz's latest restrictions on businesses. Walz has twice delayed an announcement on whether the restrictions first announce on November 18th will continue past their December 18 expiration. Representative Tama Theis, R-St. Cloud, released the following statement regarding the bill. 

“I am glad we could come together to provide some relief to our local businesses,” said Theis. “I have heard from business after business that they are barely holding on after this latest shutdown. This bill provides a needed lifeline for businesses, but the thing our businesses really need is to be open. We know that the vast majority can open safely, and they must be allowed to do so. Continuing this shutdown will only succeed in hurting more businesses.” 

The business relief package includes direct grants to businesses, license and other fee relief, and a 13 week extension of unemployment insurance for workers. The grants are broken into three categories aimed at prioritizing speed: 

  • The first category will be $88 million in grants administered automatically by the Department of Revenue (DOR) to restaurants, bars, gyms, bowling alleys, and other businesses who have seen losses of more than 30% compared to last year. 
  • The second category is approximately $14 million administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for movie theaters and large convention centers. 
  • The third category is $112 million in grants that will be administered at the county level. The county-based grants are intended to help additional businesses impacted by the recent closures that do not qualify for the first two grant categories, however businesses who receive grants from the DOR are not precluded from receiving county-based grants.