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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michelle (Shelly) Christensen (DFL)

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Assistance Available for Small Businesses

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Rep. Christensen

Dear Neighbors, 

With this being the first official week of distance learning, I know many in our community now have entire households working and learning from the offices and classrooms we’ve created in our own homes. This is obviously not ideal, but the time we’re buying for our health care professionals to address COVID-19 will save lives. In the meantime, I what to extend a heartfelt thank-you to our educators and staff that have been working incredibly hard to make these weeks of distance learning possible. 

Thank You Educators

Small Business Disaster Loans

The measures being taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 are tough but necessary, but we still need to make sure the impact on our small businesses isn’t irreparable. Both state and federal resources are quickly becoming available to our small businesses, one of them being the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. 

The program provides small businesses with loans of up to $2 million to help them overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to COVID-19. These loans can include a $10,000 advance, which will be paid within three days of a successful application. The advance does not have to be repaid. You can find detailed information about the program here.


Paycheck Protection Program

Another resource available is the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Currently, 250,000 are facing unemployment and an uncertain financial future. The Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis and applies to, among others, sole-proprietors, independent contractors, gig workers, and self-employed individuals.

The loan proceeds can be used to cover payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utility costs. You can find more information on the Paycheck Protection Program here


Unemployment Insurance

If you have lost your job or are experiencing reduced hours due to COVID-19, you are possibly eligible for unemployment insurance (UI), which you can apply for here. Minnesota’s UI website now includes step-by-step instructions for self-employed individuals who want to complete the application process.  

The UI program is still waiting for guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor about how to implement the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefit for self-employed and contract workers. However, they can now submit an application before this guidance is available. After that, the UI Program still will notify them if they need additional information. It is very likely that their account will show “pending” or even a denial determination while the work to implement this program continues.


Stay Connected

Now is the time to check in with neighbors, family and friends, especially if they may be elderly, isolated or ill. Since we cannot gather or see each other in person, reaching out can help ensure everyone is safe and will let them know you’re concerned about them at this difficult time. 

If you have any questions about our work in the legislature or the resources available to our community, feel free to reach out to me at, or leave a voicemail at (651) 296-4244. I look forward to hearing from you. 




Representative Shelly Christensen

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