St. Paul, MN – Today, Minnesota lawmakers passed a package of emergency COVID-19 bills to help protect Minnesotans’ health and economic security. State Representative Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) chief authored one of these bills, which funds a state guarantee loan program to assist small businesses impacted by the virus with less than 250 employees.
“Our small businesses provide economic vitality for families in our communities across the state,” said Rep. Zack Stephenson. “As we navigate through these unprecedented times, we must do all we can to protect and preserve our mom and pop shops and their financial wellbeing. I’m glad to see this bipartisan measure advance so we can start getting them the relief they need quickly.”
The legislation delivers $10 million from the General Fund to guarantee loans from private banks to these small employers. This includes bars and restaurants and will allow them to keep paying their workers, even when they are shut down. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will guarantee 80% of the loan, which makes banks much more agreeable to providing these loans. With a $10 million appropriation, DEED will likely be able to leverage $25 million to $30 million in private loans to 100-200 small businesses.
The Minnesota Legislature will return to a recess until April 14, unless called upon to reconvene and pass bipartisan, bicameral legislation under CDC and MDH guidelines.