It is starting to finally feel like summer as some of our usual seasonal activities are returning. Along with the resumption of youth sports, the Minnesota Twins have also announced a partial season. During this unusual summer, it is reassuring that there will be a safe return to some of our favorite activities.
Thank you for your patience and sacrifice during this trying time for our community. As you slowly resume other activities, please follow recommended CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines listed at the end of this update to keep yourself and others safe.
Please take a couple of minutes to fill out my summer survey about relevant issues in our community and state. Your input is important – thank you!
Click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DK873Z3
CARES Act relief to communities announced
On Thursday, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a plan to distribute $853 million in relief to communities across the state impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. $841 million will be distributed to Minnesota counties, cities, and towns to support local government coronavirus relief efforts. $12 million will be allocated toward food shelves and food banks. The funding was authorized under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. I released the following statement:
“Our local governments have been on the front line of providing resources to our communities as the COVID-19 pandemic goes on. During this very uncertain time, the CARES funding is a lifeline to struggling communities around the state. Our businesses, hospitals and others impacted by COVID will get some needed help and I thank Gov. Walz for his steady leadership.”
Once approved by the Legislative Advisory Commission, the Minnesota Department of Revenue will distribute these funds on a rolling basis beginning the week of June 29, 2020. Based on a per capita formula, Minnetonka will receive $4,046,751 and Eden Prairie will receive $4,780,791.
More information on the Coronavirus Relief Fund for Local Governments is available here.
Small business relief grant applications now being accepted
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) recently announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – is now accepting applications.
This program provides grants of up to $10,000 for 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 carve-outs of grant distribution 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
The application period closes at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law.
Following a settlement, current and former Frontier Communications customers can apply for a rebate or bill credit. If you are a current or past customer of Frontier, go to the Minnesota Commerce Department website for more information and to see whether you are eligible. The application deadline is July 20.
The AARP community survey seeks to inform the work of the Governor’s Council on an Age Friendly Minnesota, which is working to drive coordinated action across state agencies and move Minnesota toward being a more livable, age friendly state. The full survey can be taken by individual Minnesota residents, age 45+ through July 3, 2020.
Vote by Mail
Many people are opting to vote by mail this year due to COVID-19 concerns. Mail in ballots can be obtained now from the Minnesota Secretary of State. Find out more here.
Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19
- Wear masks when in public. 10-50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread.
- Avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
- Get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptoms - Find testing locations.
- Stay six feet away from others.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
- Up-to-date guidance is available from the Department of Health.
Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can also connect with me on Facebook here. It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.