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Recapping News to Help Foodservice Providers



Here are a few more resources for restaurateurs. News is coming at a rapid pace and we’ll try to get the most current resources out there.

From Minnesota Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the state’s principal economic development agency.

U.S. Small Business Administration loans available soon

One way Minnesota businesses may be able to get assistance is through low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Governor Walz has requested an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration, clearing the way for businesses to apply for loans to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. If you have questions, please call the SBA hotline at 1-800-659-2955. 

Sign a petition to help restaurants be able to sell alcohol along with food delivery and pick up

 

Here’s some helpful information in case you missed HospitalityMN’s earlier enewsletter:

Unemployment Insurance

The City of Minneapolis Labor Standards Enforcement Division confirmed March 18 that employers are not required to payout Sick and Safe Leave to employees who have been laid off and should instead seek unemployment insurance immediately. There are long wait times for telephone support, so former employees should be encouraged to apply online first at www.uimn.com

Before applying (or if you’re waiting on hold) read through the information on COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits. The information is available in Spanish, Hmong and Somali.

Available Support Resources

  • United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund  The United Way has set up relief fund to support those impacted by the coronavirus.
  • Serving Those Serving This Allied member maintains the Help! Service Directory! with links to services and supports across a variety of needs, including mental health.
  • Minnesota Recovery Connection MRC provides free and confidential recovery support. It serves the seven-county metro area and supports recovery communities in St. Cloud and Duluth.

HospitalityMN is also actively lobbying state legislators on a variety of relief packages for the hospitality community.

From a briefing by Best & Flanagan law firm on March 19

The federal government passed emergency legislation to support businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning Thursday, April, 2, employees will be able to access new, temporary paid leave if they are absent from work because of COVID-19, including to care for children due to school closures. Employers may use new tax credits to offset these wages.

In addition, the Minnesota state government changed the eligibility rules to provide unemployment insurance benefits for those unable to work because of COVID-19.

Tip from a blog by John Hamburger, owner of Foodservice News and the Restaurant Finance Monitor

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Now is not the time to crawl into a hole. Keep your employees informed and working as much as possible. They know the situation with the virus and the community need for social distancing, but what they don’t know is how it will impact them. Set up a communications and scheduling team just to deal with employees. Encourage the ones you can’t keep to sign up for unemployment as soon as possible. You will need your employees to eventually return to work. Employers who do not take care of their employees, as best they can, face a difficult recovery.

Farmer Relief

In the wake of the coronavirus national emergency, the Trump administration’s formal statement that food and agriculture are a critical infrastructure industry, encourages state and local authorities to allow farms and the entire food-supply chain to continue operating as usual amid current and potential restrictions created to stem the spread of the virus. The announcement was applauded by the National Milk Producers Federation, the largest organization of U.S. dairy farmers.

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