More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19
St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – will begin accepting applications next week.
This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.
Additional requirements include:
- $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
- $10 million for minority business enterprises
- $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
- $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
- $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis
“Small businesses across our state urgently need this relief,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED applauds the bipartisan action to pass this legislation, and we are grateful to Governor Walz for signing the bill quickly so we could immediately get this grant program up and running.”
The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.
To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.
Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.
6/10/2020 – Updates from the St. Charles Park/Recreation Department:
On Tuesday, June 9th our St. Charles City Council approved a Monday, July 6th opening date for the Mel Brownell Family Aquatic Center & for our Summer Youth Programs!!!
Our staff is current working on a number of details, including a COVID-19 Plan for each of our programs/facilities which is required from the Minnesota Department of Health to start activities. All of this info will go to a special Park Board meeting on Monday, June 22nd & then to the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd for final approval.
More info will be sent out/be available on Wednesday, June 24th!!!
Beginning on June 1, 2020
Restaurants and bars can reopen for outdoor service only as long as they:
- Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
- Ensure a minimum of 6 feet of distance between tables
- Limit on-premises capacity to no more than 50 persons
- Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
- Require reservations in advance
- Require workers to wear masks and strongly encourage masks be worn by customers
Personal care services (such as hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors) can reopen to provide services indoor as long as they:
- Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
- Limit number of clients inside the business at any time to ensure 6 feet of distance between persons except when providing services
- Reduce occupant capacity to no more than 25%
- See clients by appointment only; do not allow walk-ins
- Require workers and clients to wear masks at all times; do not provide services that cannot be performed without masks
Executive Order 20-56 allowed all retail stores, malls and other businesses that sell, rent, maintain and repair goods to open beginning on Monday, May 18 as long as they have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan including social distancing guidelines for workers and customers, and allow no more than 50% of the establishment’s occupant capacity at any time.
All businesses that have been allowed to reopen under previous Executive Orders, including Critical Sector businesses and non-Critical Sector industrial and office-based businesses, can continue operations as previously allowed. Further guidance on what businesses and activities are currently allowed can be found here.
All workers who have previously been working from home must continue doing so under Executive Order 20-56.
We must continue to protect public health as we turn the dials and allow more Minnesotans to safely return to work. The state continues to monitor a number of factors when allowing business to reopen, including sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations, enhanced ability to test and trace, sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence, and best practices for social distancing that minimize the amount of time that people spend in close proximity to others.
Input from businesses, workers and community members is essential in making sure we do this right. Please provide your input or feedback about safely returning to work.
We have prepared a number of Frequently Asked Questions, which can be found on the Business and Worker pages below. If you have additional questions about Safely Returning to Work, please use this form.
Updates from the St. Charles Park/Recreation Department:
On Thursday, April 30th, our governor extended the “Stay at Home” order to Monday, May 18th. With that being said, a decision to cancel or postpone our summer programs (including the aquatic center) will not be made until after May 18th. The City of St. Charles will continue to follow the direction from the MN Department of Health & the Governor’s Office. If the state directs us to cancel or postpone, the City will follow the state’s order.
We are still planning to run our summer programs as scheduled, so please continue to sign up online. If we are directed to cancel programs, we will refund your money.
Again, all summer programs are still on as of today. Any info/updates that we receive from the state, we will continue to share with you on our city website & our Facebook page!!!
City Hall is closed to the public, but our staff is still working. If you have any questions, please email me or call City Hall at (507)932-3020.
City of St. Charles
St. Charles City Hall to close office building March 23-27th.
St. Charles, MN, March 17, 2020. Due to the national pandemic and the spread of the COVID-19 in Minnesota and surrounding states, St. Charles City Hall will be closed to the public starting Monday, March 23, 2020. This closure is expected to last one week through March 27th and may be extended based on the status of coronavirus in our area. City staff will be available to assist citizens by phone at (507) 932-3020.
To reach the St. Charles Police Department, please contact 507-932-8020. If you do not receive a response and need immediate non-emergency assistance from the St. Charles Police Department, please call (507) 932-4500 and you will be contacted by a member of the St. Charles Police Department.
Utility bill payments can be placed in the payment box outside in front of City Hall. Utility bills can also be paid online through Payment Service Network (PSN), which can be accessed through the St. Charles City website at www.stcharlesmn.org or by calling 1-877-885-7968. We are requesting that no cash payments be placed in the drop box, but to instead submit a money order or cashier’s check. For any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact City Hall at (507) 932-3020.
HEALTH NOTICE & UPDATE—The City of St. Charles is working closely with its agency partners of the Winona County Emergency Coordinating Council and Winona County Health and Human Services, who are in constant contact with the Minnesota Department of Health. Earlier today (3/13/2020), Governor Tim Walz and Health Department Commissioner Malcolm announced Community Mitigation Strategies for Minnesota. As we monitor the situation, finding trusted sources of information is crucial. Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are providing the most comprehensive information possible. Below are several sites and links where you can receive current information. If you have questions about COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health has also set up a hotline at 651-201-3920 (7 a.m. – 7 p.m.).
In addition, as a reminder to all utility customers, the City of St. Charles offers the option of online or mobile services to access utility accounts. By accessing www.stcharlesmn.org and clicking the green Online Bill Pay button, customers can create an account to view activity and account status. For mobile app users, download “PSN Payments” from the App Store or Google Play (Note: Register online before using the app). A toll free option is also available at 1-877-885-7968.