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RELEASE: Rep. Sondra Erickson, Minnesota House Send Business Relief Bill to Governor’s Desk

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Representatives approved a $216 million business relief package late Monday evening, sending to the Governor's desk a bill to help small businesses and workers impacted by Governor Walz's latest restrictions on businesses. Walz has twice delayed an announcement on whether the restrictions first announce on November 18th will continue past their December 18 expiration. 

“This legislation will help businesses and workers impacted by the governor's shutdown and ideally will serve as a bridge until the federal government passes additional relief,” said Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton. “While today’s vote is a step in the right direction and will help local businesses stay open and keep our neighbors and family members employed, it will not cover all of the losses incurred because of Governor Walz’s shutdown. Stores, restaurants, fitness centers, and others that have been closed do not want a handout, they want to be able to open and safely serve their customers. I will continue working to make that a reality.”

The business relief package includes direct grants to businesses, license and other fee relief, and a 13 week extension of unemployment insurance for workers. The grants are broken into three categories aimed at prioritizing speed;

  • The first category will be $88 million in grants administered automatically by the Department of Revenue (DOR) to restaurants, bars, gyms, bowling alleys, and other businesses who have seen losses of more than 30% compared to last year.
  • The second category is approximately $14 million administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for movie theaters and large convention centers, and
  • The third is $112 million in grants that will be administered at the county level. The county-based grants are intended to help additional businesses impacted by the recent closures that do not qualify for the first two grant categories, however businesses who receive grants from the DOR are not precluded from receiving county-based grants. 

Gov. Walz announced the current restrictions on November 18th, which kicked in just two days later.

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