Here are some updates from the Governor’s office. Stay well, and here’s hoping there is warmer weather on the horizon.
Starting today, Minnesotans are eligible for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits if they have reached the end of their benefits. All you have to do is log into your unemployment insurance account, and indicate that you are still unemployed. Here is the unemployment website.
For unemployment insurance for self-employed and contract workers, accessibility to unemployment will likely be up and running by the end of April. No states have implemented these changes yet, and an entirely new state system needs to be built in order to make these benefits accessible. People who are self-employed and contract workers should sign up for benefits now, even though the system will show that you are currently ineligible--signing up now will result in quicker receipt of your unemployment benefits when the system is finished being built. DEED will reach out to you as soon as your benefits are available.
Support for Small Business
The US Small Business Administration has launched several programs to support small businesses, including the payroll protection program. Minnesota businesses have received the third highest loan amount per capita of any state in the country, which means that many businesses will be able to continue paying their workers, and be able to remain financially stable during this crisis.
Preparing for the Peak
We have made significant progress in obtaining and distributing personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers in the last week. We continue to work to build our testing, PPE, and hospital capacity to prepare for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks. Thank you to all our frontline workers who are risking their safety to care for Minnesotans during this critical time.
Keep up the Amazing Work
Minnesotans are still maintaining the lowest infection rates in the country. We are all working hard to slow the spread of this disease, and to move past this crisis so that we can more quickly start returning to life as normal. The actions we take now will make the difference between saving lives, and losing all the progress that has been gained through the sacrifices of Minnesotans. Our state is planning on reopening sectors of business that can be pursued safely and within the MDH/CDC guidelines. We must be thoughtful and deliberate in how we approach reopening the economy to avoid unnecessary loss of life and prolonged economic hardship. For the time being, we need to continue to stay home unless necessary, and we need to follow the social distancing guidelines when we do leave home. We will get through this together.
Here if you need me
I am here to help you in any way I am able. I have received many messages and phone calls from folks experiencing difficulties, or who have questions. I am happy to provide feedback and guidance to the best of my ability.
Please contact me anytime with questions, input, or ideas. You can reach me at my facebook page, by phone at 651-296-4212, or by email (preferred and quickest response) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide any assistance!
Your Neighbor and State Representative