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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ruth Richardson (DFL)

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Assistance is available for workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19

Monday, March 23, 2020

Rep. Richardson



Dear Neighbors, 

During these unprecedented times, Minnesotans continue to care for each other.

When we follow public health guidelines like social distancing and stay home from work if we can, we care for each other. When we swiftly provide workers and businesses with financial assistance, we care for each other. When we give the senior citizen on our block a wellness call to check on them, we care for each other. 

This email includes the latest news, updates, and resources for Minnesotans who have questions about the COVID-19 pandemic. My office is a resource that is available to help you navigate public agencies that are providing financial support.

House staff are tele-commuting in order to comply with public health guidelines, so if you call my office at 651-296-4192 please be prepared to leave a voicemail message and include your full contact information. You can also send an email to I am receiving a high volume of communication in recent days and will respond to your messages as soon as possible.

Minnesotans are facing many challenges right now, and we are likely to face more in the weeks and months ahead. All of us have a responsibility to help “flatten the curve” and protect our health care workers and high-risk populations. By sticking together and caring for one another, we will persevere. 


Ruth Richardson 
State Representative 


Mallards Restaurant offering free take home meals for restaurant workers and their families
Free meals are available every night from 4-7pm for Minnesotans who work in restaurants, bars, cafes, and coffee shops. You’ll need to bring in a paycheck stub from your restaurant. Thank you to Mallards for supporting Minnesotans who work in this industry. Their address is 5681 Blaine Ave E in Inver Grove Heights. If you have questions you can contact Mallards via email at


Statewide moratorium placed on evictions
To protect renters and homeowners who face financial hardship, Governor Walz took executive action today to suspend eviction proceedings during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. Loss of housing is catastrophic at any time, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, this loss endangers the health and well-being of all Minnesotans. While this order clarifies that tenants who can continue to pay rent during the peacetime emergency should continue to do so, landlords and financial institutions cannot begin eviction proceedings that would remove tenants from stable housing.


Unemployment insurance is available for workers impacted by COVID-19
If you aren’t able to work for a temporary period of time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you could qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. Minnesotans are strongly encouraged to apply online at (Sunday-Friday, 6am-8pm) to avoid long wait times. 


Small businesses can apply for no-interest, 50% forgivable loans beginning this week
Today, Governor Walz took executive action to create a Small Business Emergency Loan Program that could provide financial support for 1,200-5,000 businesses. Loan applications will become available later this week through DEED’s lender network. Minnesota small businesses should send questions about this emergency loan program to  

Qualifying small businesses will have the opportunity to apply for loans of between $2,500 and $35,000. The loans will be 50% forgivable, and offered at a 0% interest rate (if other financing becomes available to small businesses that received an emergency loan, such as federal funding, the emergency loan must be repaid). 


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans now available
Small businesses and non-profit organizations can apply right now for low-interest loans of up to $2 million. These loans can go toward working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments that can’t be paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75%. These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years. For more information, click here to visit the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan website. 


State tax filing deadline extended to July 15, 2020 
In line with the state’s continued peacetime emergency response to COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Revenue has announced that taxpayers filing their annual Minnesota Individual Income Tax return for tax year 2019 now have until Wednesday, July 15, 2020, to file and make their payments without any penalties or interest, keeping our state in line with federal changes. 

If you have questions about this new income tax payment deadline, please contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue:

Phone: 651-296-3781 or 1-800-652-9094 (toll-free)



U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 


Minnesota Department of Health

651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7am-7pm daily) 


School and child care questions:

651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 (7am-7pm daily) 

*Child care providers with questions should call 1-888-234-1268.


Information for workers and employers: 


Information for Minnesotans who use Metro Transit: 


Minnesota Department of Health Hmong language website: 

Minnesota Department of Health Spanish language website: 

Minnesota Department of Health Somali language website: 

American Sign Language PSA: 


Basic overview of COVID-19 in multiple languages:

COVID-19 in Amharic (PDF)

COVID-19 in Arabic (PDF)

COVID-19 in Chinese (PDF)

COVID-19 in Hmong (PDF)

COVID-19 in Karen (PDF)

COVID-19 in Russian (PDF)

COVID-19 in Somali (PDF)

COVID-19 in Spanish (PDF)

COVID-19 in Vietnamese (PDF)