(April 24, 2020) USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey and Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today held a joint announcement to provide guidance from the respective agencies on the resources provided in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (HR.266) recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. | Stakeholder Announcement
Go to https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_RD_SA_COVID19_CUMULATIVEUpdate04152020.pdf for details
Affected by COVID-19 USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America.
Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.
A Guide for Minnesota Small Businesses Who Need Help
March 31, 2020 | Economic Development
Over the past few weeks, several state and federal programs have been built to assist small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Different programs make sense for different businesses, so we’re providing this summary guide to help small businesses quickly see which programs might be right for their situation.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
- Summary of Program: Congress authorized a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers those who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits, such as independent contractors and self-employed people. The program was authorized but must be created by the states, so Minnesota must build out this program before it can be implemented. More information will be available soon, however it could be several weeks before payments begin.
- Why this might make sense for you: If you are an independent contractor or self-employed person who would not typically be eligible for unemployment benefits, but you have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program
- Summary of Program: Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loans are made through an approved lender – you can find FAQs, application materials and lenders on the DEED website. These loans are for $2,500 to $35,000 and at a 0% interest rate. There is a total of $30 million available for this program.
- Why this might make sense for you: If you are affected by Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08, this program could provide a 0% loan to help you meet expenses.
Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program
- Summary of Program: This program provides a 80% loan guarantee for loans up to $250,000 made by a qualified economic development lender within this program. Details for business are not yet on DEED’s website but DEED and agency partners are reaching out to lenders to make them aware of this new program – look for more details soon. This program is intended to incent the private market to make loans to small businesses and provides the guarantee for those loan dollars. The state is providing a loan guarantee of $10 million which is likely to leverage between $20 and $25 million in lending by private banks.
- Why this might make sense for you: Your lender will consider your situation and may require this guarantee in order to lend money to your business.
Unemployment Insurance Shared Work Program
- Summary of Program: The Shared Work program offers an alternative to layoffs for employers facing a temporary downturn in business. Administered by DEED’s Unemployment Insurance Division, the program allows employers to divide available hours of work among a group of employees instead of implementing a full layoff. These employees may then receive partial unemployment insurance benefits while working reduced hours. The purpose of Shared Work is to avoid a layoff, not to subsidize wages.
- Why this might make sense for you: Shared Work can help employers avoid the difficulties that can go along with a layoff. If employees keep working during a temporary slowdown, employers can more quickly gear up when business conditions improve. Learn more about the Shared Work Program on our Unemployment Insurance Division's website
So given these options, where should you start?
1. First, we recommend is contacting your insurance company. You may have access to benefits you’ve paid into through your policy that could be helpful during this time.
2. Next, call your bank. Your banker will have advice for you on:
- Their own resources
- Any SBA programs they have access to
- They may refer you to local lending programs such as those available through non-profits (like the Small Business Emergency Loan Program) or loan programs available in certain cities or counties across Minnesota
3. If you’ve been denied credit by a bank or the SBA, you should call any of the approved lenders for the Small Business Emergency Loan Program that serve your geography.
4. If you do not use a bank and/or do not have insurance on your business:
- You can call any of DEED approved lenders for the Small Business Emergency Loan Program for possible access to the program and other resources available through our lending partners.
- You may also call a lender in the Small Business Loan Guarantee program, when those lenders are identified. Please note that these lenders are likely banks or local development organizations who have underwriting criteria.
- You could call your city or county to see if they have a revolving loan fund that is available to your business. Please note that not many cities in the metro area have these revolving loan funds and those that do will have underwriting criteria.
Visit the COVID-19 Information for Employers and Businesses page on the DEED website for more resources related to business assistance, Unemployment Insurance and FAQs.
USDA Unveils Tool to Help Rural Communities Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
USDA’s COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide Lists Federal Programs That Can Help Rural Communities, Organizations and Residents Impacted by COVID-19
WASHINGTON, April 13, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide (PDF, 349 KB) is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.
“Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities preparing for and impacted by COVID-19,” Perdue said. “This resource guide will help our rural leaders, whether they are in agriculture, education, health care or any other leadership capacity, understand what federal assistance is available for their communities during this unprecedented time.”
USDA has taken many immediate actions to assist farmers, ranchers, producers, rural communities, and rural-based businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on these actions, visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus