We also passed the PROMISE (Providing Resources, Opportunity and Maximizing Investments in Striving Entrepreneurs) Act. The legislation is a comprehensive plan to help businesses rebuild and recover, many of which are owned by Black Minnesotans, immigrants, and people of color. The goal is to preserve the unique character of the impacted commercial and cultural corridors, continue their position as a place for small businesses to emerge and develop, and to keep the community vision central to redevelopment. Specifically, the plan would:
- Create a special panel to review cases and provide direct compensation to impacted individuals.
- Create a partnership with cities and community organizations to create an immediate economic relief programs of $165 million for impacted businesses and organizations. I am the chief author of this provision.
- Give local units of government flexibility and tools to prevent gentrification.
- Direct the Minnesota Department of Commerce to assist business owners, and require insurance companies to notify the department of any rejected claims.
- Help with the rising cost of leases for eligible residential and commercial properties.
- Provide property and sales tax cuts for eligible properties as they rebuild.
- Establish a “Metropolitan Area Redevelopment Corporation” to create a long-term plan for equity-driven redevelopment and transformation.
- Establish a panel to review the decision making during the civil unrest by police, military, city, and state leaders.
I’m pleased the House moved swiftly on this very important initiative for our eastside neighborhoods.
Assistance for Small Business
The first bill we approved last Friday and has since been signed into law by the governor created a $62.5 million fund for small business grants. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees can receive grants up to $10,000 each. This is a significant initiative that will provide our local businesses with the assistance they need to stay afloat during these difficult times. Of the $62.5 million total, there are several carve-outs:
- $18 million for micro-businesses with six or fewer full-time employees,
- $10 million for minority-owned businesses,
- $2.5 million for women-owned businesses,
- $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses, and
- $2.5 million for ethnic malls with at least 25 vendors (e.g. Hmong Village). Individual grants can be up to $250,000 for each mall owner and must be used primarily for rent forgiveness for mall vendors.
To be eligible, the business must meet the following requirements:
- Have a permanent physical location in Minnesota,
- Be owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota,
- Be in good standing with the Secretary of State’s office and the Dept. of Revenue as of March 1, 2020, and
- Demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grants will be awarded by lottery and the funds will be evenly split in their allocation to Greater Minnesota and Metro-area businesses. Applications will be accepted during a 10-day period beginning on Tuesday, June 23, and lasting through Thursday, July 2. You can find more information on how to apply here.
Additional Local Opportunities to Help the Eastside
Many in our community are still struggling with food and basic supply security. If you are interested in making a donation, the following Give Minnesota fundraisers have been set up and are ready to receive monetary contributions:
Southeast Community Organization has set up new healthcare product distribution site at the Shamrock Plaza Mosque. This is relatively new, and they’ve started to ask for donations.
Here’s what’s needed:
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Men and Women’s deodorant
- Baby needs – baby oil, powder, ointment
- Diapers – all sizes
- Infant Formula
Keep in Touch
Please don’t hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or input. I always appreciate helping when I can.
It’s an honor to represent out Eastside community at the Capitol.