COVID-19 Update 7/23/2020

 

It’s Official:  Masks Required in MN

Yesterday, July 22, Governor Walz announced Executive Order 20-81, requiring people in Minnesota to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and businesses, unless alone.  Additionally, workers are required to wear a face covering when working indoors – and outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. Yes – that includes auto and collision repair shops!  The mandate will take effect Saturday, July 25.

Under Executive Order 20-81, businesses must:

  • Require that all persons, including their workers, customers, and visitors, wear face coverings as required by Executive Order 20-81 and take reasonable steps to enforce the requirement.
  • Mitigate or eliminate worker and customer exposure to persons who cannot wear or refuse to wear a face covering.
  • Update their COVID-19 Preparedness Plans to include the face covering requirements of Executive Order 20-81, inform their workers how their plan has been updated, and make the revised plan available to their workers. (A template can be found here.)
  • Post one or more signs that are visible to all persons—including workers, customers, and visitors—instructing them to wear face coverings as required by Executive Order 20-81.
  • When possible, provide accommodations to persons, including their workers and customers, who state they have a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the person to maintain a face covering. Accommodations could include permitting use of an alternate form of face covering—a face shield, for example—or providing service options that do not require a customer to enter the business.

Executive Order 20-81 does not:

  • Require businesses or their workers to enforce face covering requirements when it is unsafe to do so.
  • Authorize businesses to restrain, assault, or physically remove workers or customers who refuse to comply with Executive Order 20-81 when it would not otherwise be legal to do so.
  • Authorize businesses and their workers to violate other laws, including anti-discrimination laws.

For additional information about the steps businesses can take to ensure compliance with Executive Order 20-81, refer to Executive Order 20-81 which is available at Executive Orders from Governor Walz, and the Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.

Digital and print materials related to the #MaskUpMN campaign are available for download on Minnesota COVID-19 Response: Share Our Message For Businesses.

On another front, school districts are still waiting to find out their fate for the upcoming school year. The state has said they’ll recommend either in-person learning, distance learning, or a hybrid of the two the week of July 27.

If you’re shopping for masks, check out what AASP-MN member, Arcon Solutions has to offer at www.arconinc.com, or place an order by calling 952-882-6069 or email to orders@arconinc.com.

 

Meanwhile…

At the national level, Senate Republicans and the White House are struggling to find unity on a new virus relief and stimulus package. 

The House has passed a $3 trillion package which includes aid to state and local governments, additional stimulus checks, funding for coronavirus testing and tracing, an extension of expanded unemployment insurance benefits and $10 billion in additional grants for small businesses.

The extra $600 a week that Americans have received in unemployment benefits is set to expire at the end of the week, if Congress does not strike a deal on a new stimulus package.

 

EIDL Advance Discontinued – Loans Still Available

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the conclusion and success of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance program, which provided U.S. small businesses, non-profits and agricultural businesses a total of $20 billion in emergency funding.  The EIDL Advance provided $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000.  Recipients did not have to be approved for a loan to receive the Advance, and the Advance provided an interim but vital source of funds while applicants awaited a decision on their loan application.

Having allocated the full $20 billion that was appropriated by Congress, SBA will discontinue making EIDL Advances to new applicants.  By law, the SBA is not permitted to issue new EIDL Advances once all program funding has been obligated.

EIDL loan applications will still be processed even though the Advance is no longer available.   As a reminder, the loan portion of the EIDL program continues to have funds available at very affordable terms, including a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profit organizations, a 30-year maturity, and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin.  Every eligible small business and non-profit is encouraged to apply to get the resources they need.  More information is available here.

 

Free Cybersecurity Webinar on August 5th

Given the current pandemic-related restrictions, the majority of us are spending more time and conducting more of our business online.  This situation has also led to an increase in COVID-19 related fraud and scams.

To help inform and better protect AASP-MN members, we’re hosting a free webinar on August 5th.  You’ll learn the basics of e-mail security, ransomware, and internet security that will give you the confidence to keep you and your customers’ data safe.

Register here.

 

Tell the Minneapolis Fed How COVID-19 Continues to Impact Your Business

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is trying to gauge the economic effects of COVID-19 in the Ninth District, a region that includes Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana, northwestern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

They are partnering with local and state chambers of commerce, state and regional economic development associations and other business groups in each state to collect feedback. Please take 5 minutes to help the Minneapolis Fed better understand conditions that will shape monetary policy to weather this economic shock and to better spotlight challenges facing businesses.

Complete the survey here.

 

Note: This content and analysis is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult your legal and financial advisors for detailed information before taking any action.

 

Written by aasp@aaspmn.org

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