• COVID-19.jpg
  • Business resources & Chamber updates regarding COVID-19

  • On behalf of our mayors, businesses, and communities and valued members, The Chamber and The Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation are working together to provide the most crucial and beneficial information for you. Here you will find important guides, links, executive orders, details on Small Business Administration relief loans and much more. Please continue to refer to this page for all timely updates and resources as it is continually updated.

  • As our community, nation and world grapple with trying times due to COVID-19, The Chamber is committed to protecting the health of our members and residents. This page is meant to be a guide to navigate resources to keep you safe and informed. As the situation develops, we will monitor and update this page. Current as of 11/11/2020.

  • Financial Assistance Programs

    Please note, the below does not serve as legal or financial advice. You should consult with your financial advisor before making any decisions regarding your business. At this time there are a number of unanswered questions regarding implementation.

  • Economic Resiliency Grant - North Dakota Economic Resiliency Grant - North Dakota

    North Dakota Department of Commerce announced that applications for the Economic Resiliency Grant will open August 12th at 10 am. CDT.

    Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible businesses may qualify for up to $50,000 and up to $100,000 per business with multiple locations. This is a grant, not a loan. Eligible expenditures must be direct investments to reduce the spread of infection and instill consumer confidence in the marketplace. You can prepare today by gathering receipts as funds may be used retroactively, or getting quotes for future purchases.

    ERG Information | ERG Application Process Tutorial

  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

    • Note: SBA Loan Assistance site is experiencing occasional issues. If you are experiencing this, please check back and refresh that page.
    • Summary: Borrowers can get a maximum of $2 million working capital loan at a rate of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits with up to a 30-year term. Up to $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee. No collateral is required for loans of $25,000 or less.
      • Emergency Grants: Eligible applicants for the EIDL can receive a $10,000 emergency grant within three days of application. There is no obligation to repay the grant, it is not necessary to have an approved EIDL. However, if you are able to secure a PPP loan, the $10,000 grant will be subtracted from the forgiveness amount. Note: The Paycheck Protection Program prohibits borrowers from taking out two loans for the same purpose.
    • Eligibility: In general, businesses who have suffered economic injury due to COVID-19 and have fewer than 500 employees. Sole proprietors, independent contractors and most nonprofits qualify. Both ND and MN have been officially declared as eligible disaster locations.
    • Application: Apply online at SBA.gov/disaster
    • More information:
  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

    Loan forgiveness application

    Under the Paycheck Protection Program, loans may be forgiven. The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration recently released the application form and instructions. Find more information on this process here.

    • Summary: In general, the amount of a covered loan is 250% of payroll costs incurred during the one-year period before the date on which the loan is made, with a maximum of $10,000,000 per businesses. Other provisions for seasonal employers and new businesses apply, Check this ndresponse.gov page for more information about specific business situations. Changes to this loan program from the 6/5/2020 PPP Flexibility Act of 2020 can be found under the Federal Legislation tab. These changes include an extension for the loan period from eight to 24 weeks, a reduction in payroll expenditure requirement from 75% to 60%, an extension of the loan from two to five years, and two additional exceptions for borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they don’t fully restore their workforce.

    • Forgiveness: In general, a borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount the borrow spent on payroll costs, interest on covered mortgages, payments on covered rent obligations and covered utility payments during the 24-week period (or 8-week depending on loan application time) beginning on the date of the origination of the loan. The amount can’t exceed the principal amount of the loan. The amount forgiven will be reduced based upon decreases in the number of employees and employee salaries with re-hire exemptions (see federal legislations tab for details). Amounts forgiven are not included in borrower’s taxable income.
    • Eligibility: Businesses with less than 500 employees (potential exceptions with multiple locations). Sole proprietors, independent contractors and other self-employed individuals are eligible. Must not have an application pending for a loan duplicative of the purpose and amounts applied for.
    • Application: Delivered through lenders (bank). Application deadline is August 8, 2020 (extended from June by Congress). Speak to your lender about their application timeline.
    • More information:
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit Employee Retention Tax Credit

    • Summary: The new employee retention tax credit is a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation, including the employer portion of health benefits, for each eligible employee. Does not include paid sick or family leave for which the employer is reimbursed under the FFCRA. Credit only applies to wages paid after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021.
    • Eligibility: In general, private employers, including non-profits, carrying on a trade or business in 2020 that have operations partially or fully suspended as a result of orders from a governmental authority due to COVID-19 or experience a decline in gross receipts by more than 50% in a quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019. Employers who receive a PPP loan are not eligible for a tax credit.
    • More information:
  • Minnesota Specific Programs Minnesota Specific Programs

    Moorhead and Clay County CARES Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants Available

    Clay County and the City of Moorhead recently approved the use of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funds to be dedicated to businesses in the form of Small Business Relief Grants. These grants are for up to $10,000 for eligible small businesses and community organizations with 20 or fewer employees. Eligible sole proprietors may receive grants for up to $3,000. These applications are not first-come, first-served and the deadlines for each are listed below. Grant amounts may be revised based on the amount of applications received. For more information regarding these opportunities, visit the appropriate webpage below:
    If you are a business within Moorhead City limits, please proceed here. The deadline to apply is August 31.
    If you are a business outside of Moorhead City limits, please proceed here. The deadline to apply is September 7. 
    Questions? Email kmastel@fmwfchamber.com or call us at 218.233.1100.

    Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program

    Summary: During their special session the MN Legislature approved the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program. This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. A total of $60.3 million is available for grant awards. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards.

    Eligibility: Businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota, be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota and employ 50 or fewer full-time workers. Additional eligibility requirements

    Application: The application period is June 23 to July 2 at 5 p.m. Find the application here

    • Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program
      • Summary: Loans are made through an approved lender 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.
      • Eligibility: In general businesses are eligible if they are able to demonstrate that they were directly and adversely affected by the emergency declaration in Executive Order 20-04 and Executive Order 20-08
      • More information

    Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

    • Summary: This program provides an 80% loan guarantee for loans up to $250,000 made by a qualified economic development lender within this program. The program is intended to incentivize the private market to make loans to small businesses and provides the guarantee for those loan dollars. Note: DEED is currently taking applications from potential lenders to participate in this program. This is an emerging opportunity and details are not yet on the DEED website.
    • Eligibility: The funds can only be provided to Minnesota businesses with fewer than the equivalent of 250 employees. The number of employees includes parent company and all locations.
    • More information
  • North Dakota Specific Programs North Dakota Specific Programs

    North Dakota Economic Resiliency Grant Program

    North Dakota Department of Commerce announced that applications for the Economic Resiliency Grant will open August 12 at 10 a.m. CDT.

    Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible businesses may qualify for up to $50,000 and up to $100,000 per business with multiple locations. This is a grant, not a loan. Eligible expenditures must be direct investments to reduce the spread of infection and instill consumer confidence in the marketplace. You can prepare today by gathering receipts as funds may be used retroactively, or getting quotes for future purchases.

    ERG Information | ERG Application Process Tutorial

    Bank of ND: Small Employer Loan Fund (SLEF)

    Summary: This program assists local financial institutions and certified development corporations (CDCs) in providing loans to assist very small North Dakota businesses in their recovery from the negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum loan amount is equal to six months of operating expenses plus interest as well as any amount needed to replenish inventory, or a maximum loan of $50,000, whichever is less.

    Eligibility: In general, borrowers must be a North Dakota business, with an employee count of 10 full-time equivalents (FTE) or less. For further specifics regarding eligibility, visit BND’s website.

    Application: Applications must be submitted by a lender at a local financial institution. Applications submitted by a business owner will not be accepted.

    More information: Small Employer Loan Fund | Fact sheet

    Bank of ND: COVID-19 PACE Recovery Program (CPRP)

    Summary: This program assists local financial institutions in providing low interest loans to support North Dakota businesses in their economic recovery due to negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. For businesses of 500 or fewer employees: Maximum loan amount is the lesser of $5,000,000 or six months of operating expenses plus interest. For businesses of 501 employees or more: Maximum loan amount is the lesser of $10,000,000 or six months of operating expenses plus interest.

    Eligibility: In general, borrowers can be any person or entity whose business is located in North Dakota. Loan funds may only be used to support operations in the state of ND. The business must have capacity or history of showing it can serve debt before March 13, 2020.

    Application: Applications must be submitted by a lender at your local financial institution. Applications submitted by a business owner will not be accepted.

    More information: COVID-19 PACE Recovery Program | Fact sheet


    The North Dakota Development Fund offers a number of flexible funding options for new or expanding primary sector businesses in North Dakota. More information about each can be found at this business.nd site.


  • More Information, Resources and Updates

  • Federal Legislation - Employers & Employees Federal Legislation - Employers & Employees

    Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010)

    The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 was enacted on June 5, 2020 and provides more flexibility and time for spending funds. Below is a summary of the changes compiled using the AICPA resources. The legislation can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-116hr7010enr/pdf/BILLS-116hr7010enr.pdf

    • Borrowers who received loans prior to June 5 can choose to extend the eight-week loan period to 24 weeks. Those who receive loans June 5 or later have a covered period of 24 weeks not to exceed beyond Dec. 31, 2020. This is designed to make it easier for more borrowers to reach full, or almost full, forgiveness.
    • The deadline to apply for PPP loans remains June 30, 2020.
    • The 75% payroll expenditure requirement was reduced to 60%. Borrowers shall use at least 60% of the covered loan amount for payroll costs.
    • The original PPP legislation offered an exception for borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they didn’t fully restore their workforce. This act provides two additional exceptions. In addition to excluding from calculations employees who turned down offers to be rehired, the new bill allows borrowers to adjust due to an inability to hire similarly qualified employees on or before Dec. 31, 2020, or they were unable to restore business operations to Feb. 15, 2020 levels due to COVID-19 related operating restrictions. (See language in the Act for full information)
    • Borrowers now have five years to repay the loan instead of two, interest rate remains at 1%.
    • PPP Borrowers can now qualify for the deferral of employer’s share of payroll taxes available under the CARES Act.

    H.R. 266 – Legislation providing additional funding for small business loans, health care providers, and COVID-19 testing

    On April 24, President Trump signed a nearly $500 billion coronavirus rescue package that replenishes emergency funding for two widely used financial aid tools: The Paycheck Protection Program and SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

    In addition to emergency relief for hospitals and coronavirus testing, the bill funded:

    • $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection program
    • $60 billion for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

    If you haven’t already, we encourage you to talk to your lender about these programs as soon as possible as funds are expected to go quickly again.

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

    The CARES Act was passed by Congress and signed into law last week. The bill provids relief through modifying the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL), expanding unemployment insurance funding, creating a new Paycheck Protection loan to encourage employers to keep employees on payroll, direct cash payments for individuals and more.

    Key provisions explained

    H.R. 6201 – Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Employer Expanded Family and Medical Leave Requirements

    Effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the FFCRA requires certain employers to provide their employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Below is some general information, for more detailed information visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s webpage.

    Generally, the Act provides that private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and child care leave to employees who are unable to work or telework due to the following COVID-19 related reasons:

    • Employee is subject to a Federal, state or local quarantine related to COVID-19.
    • Employee has been advised by a health care provide to self-quarantine.
    • Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
    • Employee is caring for an individual who is subject to quarantine pursuant to 1 and 2.
    • To care for a child or children whose school or care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
    • Employee is experiencing a similar condition as specific by HHS, DOL or Treasury.

    In addition, private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave for employees who have been employed for at least 30 days and are unable to work due to taking care of a child under 18 whose school or place of care has been closed due to COVID-19.

    Employers receive 100% payroll tax credit for required paid sick leave wages. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened. To elect this small business exemption, you should document why your business with fewer than 50 employees meets the criteria set forth by the Department, and check back to this page for further forthcoming regulations for reporting. Do not send materials to the Department of labor when seeking a small business exemption.

    In some of the above instances employees may receive their regular rate of pay up to a certain daily and aggregate total, other instances constitute only 2/3 of the employee’s regular pay. For more information on paid leave amounts, visit this IRS page.

    Employers are required to post a notice of FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises. The Department of Labor has issued an example of what this notice should look like.

    Answers to FAQs regarding this legislation.

  • Minnesota Business Resources Minnesota Business Resources

    The state of Minnesota has consolidated COVID-19 business resources on this evolving webpage.

    When to return to work
    What to do if you have COVID-19
    What to do if you have been in close contact

    Status of Reopening

    As the dial moves toward reopening MN, check this guide on what kind of business can and can’t be open at this time.

    For resources and guidance about safely returning to work, check DEEDs website here.

    The U.S. Chamber put together this guide for small businesses navigating the challenges of reopening their doors. These steps will prepare you for the “new normal” that we are experiencing.

    Under Minnesota Governor Walz’s Executive Orders, all business that are in operation during the peacetime emergency are required to establish a COVID-19 Preparedness plan. All industries must have a plan in place by June 29, 2020. More information and guidance

    What to do if an employee has COVID-19

    On May 20, Governor Walz announced that starting June 1, restaurants, bars, salons, barbershops, and other related industries will be allowed to reopen with health/safety guidance. Additional guidance for future phases of opening has been released without specific dates.

    On April 30, Governor Walz extended the Stay Home Order until May 18, with new revisions including allowing curbside pickup for retail stores beginning May 4. Those businesses must:

    • Develop and publicly post a plan for how to open safely.
    • Use online payment whenever possible.
    • Employees and customers should wear masks and protective equipment.
    • In curbside pick-up scenarios, social distancing guidelines apply. If possible, customers should not leave their vehicle.
    • In delivery scenarios, items should be deposited outside a customer’s residence.

    More information

    Guidance on Reopening Businesses

    Thursday, April 23

    Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-40, which provides a first step in the process of safely returning Minnesotans to work starting with non-critical sector industrial and office-based businesses that are non-customer facing allowed to begin retuning to work on Monday, April 27. It also specifies three requirements that must be met before these business can reopen, one being the creation of a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. More information from MN DEED

    COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template

    Checklist guidelines for creating a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

    Wednesday, April 8
    Governor Walz extends stay-at-home order and non-essential business closures to Monday, May 4.

    Wednesday, March 25
    Governor Tim Walz issues statewide stay-at-home order.

    Read full executive order  | Guidance and clarification on 'critical sector exemptions'
    "NOTE: You are not required to carry any paperwork when you are traveling to and from your place of employment, or anywhere else. All Minnesotans are urged to voluntarily comply with this Executive Order." - mn.gov

    Stay-at-home order in effect Friday, March 27 - Friday, April 10 Monday, May 4
    Non-essential business closures in effect Friday, March 27 - Friday, May 1 Monday, May 4

    On Monday, March 16, MN Governor Walz took the extraordinary and essential step of closing down bars, restaurants, and other non-essential businesses in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. The Governor also issued an executive order to ensure UI benefits will be available to these workers, and to ensure employees won’t be charged for the increase in applications we expect to see.

    Unemployment Information

    Below are resources from Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for workers, employers and specific unemployment insurance information.

    Watch the full press conference where both of these executive orders were announced.

  • North Dakota Business Resources North Dakota Business Resources

    North Dakota's Department of Commerce has consolidated COVID-19 business resources of financial, labor, insurance, tax and safety information on their comprehensive webpage.

    The Nice Center of NDSU has just launched their listing of North Dakota recovery resources for individuals, businesses, and non-profits (see link below). This is an easy-to-navigate website that includes a diverse range of relief opportunities for those struggling to recover from COVID-19, economic downturn, or inequality. 

    The U.S. Chamber put together this guide for small businesses navigating the challenges of reopening their doors. These steps will prepare you for the “new normal” that we are experiencing.

    On April 28, North Dakota launched a ND Smart Restart plan releasing protocols for all business to follow as we enter this new normal. Universal protocols and industry specific standards for restaurants and bars, fitness centers and personal services can be found on the NDResponse website. Executive Order 2020-06.3, which closed on-site dining establishments, recreational facilities, health clubs, salons, etc. will expire April 30, allowing these business to begin reopening on May 1.

    Business Standards & Protocols

    On April 15, Governor Burgum extended his previous order of business closures to April 30. He also outlined a path forward as he presented eight criteria that need to be met for a reopening process. Find the full press release at: https://www.governor.nd.gov/news/burgum-extends-business-restrictions-10-days-outlines-path-forward-reopening

    On April 8, Governor Burgum issued further travel quarantine orders:

    All individuals traveling back to ND from international locations and other states in the U.S. quarantine immediately upon re-entry for 14 days.

    In general, there are currently exemptions for:

    • Essential critical infrastructure workers
    • People commuting to and from ND for work for essential supplies and services
    • People engaging in outdoor activities as long as they remain at least six feet apart

    Find the most up to date official ND Travel Quarantine Orders here.


    On April 1, Governor Burgum announced that existing business closures mandated by executive order will be extended by two weeks, from April 6 to April 20, to further slow the spread of the coronavirus. An announcement will be made by April 15 on whether closures will be extended beyond April 20. Affected businesses are listed in the amended executive order here. The extension to April 20 also applies to restrictions on access to state facilities, including the Capitol.


    On March 19 ND Governor Doug Burgum issued an executive order to go into effect Friday, March 20 through Monday, April 6. 

    • Closing all restaurants, bars, breweries, cafes and other on-site dining establishments to on-sale / on-site patrons. Takeout, curbside service, drive-throughs or off-sale services are allowed to continue.
    • Closing all recreational facilities, gyms, health clubs, athletic facilities and theaters, including movie theaters and music or entertainment venues.
    • Directing all state agencies and offices to accelerate the transition of non-essential personnel staff members to a remote, in-home worksite.

    On March 13, Governor Burgum issued an executive order that requires immediate changes to the unemployment insurance process - expanding eligibility, making it easier for workers to file claims and allowing payments to be issued more quickly. 

    Unemployment Information

  • Unemployment Info, Job Postings, & Additional Business Resources Unemployment Info, Job Postings, & Additional Business Resources

    Unemployment Information

    The additional $600 payment each week for those receiving unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance per the CARES Act, expires July 31, 2020.


    ​Application Schedule

    The table below lists the day and time to start an application based on the last digit of your SSN. For example: a person with the SSN XXX-XX-XXX6 would apply on Wednesday.

    If the last digit of your SSN is: Day of week you should apply online:
    0, 1 or 2 Monday
    3, 4 or 5 Tuesday
    6, 7, 8 or 9 Wednesday
    Any number Thursday
    Any number Friday






    North Dakota

    April 2, GNDC COVID-19 briefing call: "Stimulus package overview, FFCRA, EIDL, PPP, expanded unemployment, direct payments and scenarios. Watch/listen to call.

    On April 1, Governor Burgum signed an executive order waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits as claims continue to increase in North Dakota.

    Job Postings

    The Chamber
    Chamber jobs board 

    Additional Resources


    LinkedIn support group

    Facebook support group

  • Local Information Local Information

    City of Dilworth

    City of Fargo

    City of Horace

    City of Moorhead

    City of West Fargo

    Stay caught up on local press conferences, or go back and watch one you may have missed:

    City of Fargo Facebook page - videos

    North Dakota Department of Health Facebook page - videos

    April 7
    Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney and West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis issued stay-home directives asking residents to stay home and comply with public health guidelines.
    Fargo Directive
    West Fargo Directive
    More information and full InForum story.

    April 4
    MATBUS relocates Downtown hub and begins construction project. Read press release.

  • K-12 Updates K-12 Updates

    North Dakota

    All public and non-public K-12 school facilities will remain closed to students until further notice. All school districts are directed to develop age-appropriate distance learning plans to fulfill instructional requirements. Plans must be submitted on or before March 27 with distance learning beginning no later than April 1. See full executive order.

    Fargo Public Schools

    West Fargo Public Schools



    On March 15, MN Governor Walz issued an executive order to close all schools to students through March 27, 2020. During the closure time, schools are to adequately plan for continuity of education during the pandemic and will receive guidance on approaches to distance learning and social distancing within schools. See full executive order.

    DGF Public Schools

    Moorhead Area Public Schools


  • Caring for Yourself and Your Team During COVID-19


  • Understanding the CARES Act with the U.S Chamber


  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act


  • We will continue to send important COVID-19 updates to our community and chamber members via email. If you are not receiving our communications, consider joining our Advocacy in Action and eBridge list on this page.

  • Resources

  • We are proud to stand with The EDC and a number of other regional organizations involved in a Greater Fargo Moorhead COVID-19 Business Task Force to support businesses during this unprecedented time.

    (This is a dynamic group with ongoing additions as needed to support long-term business sustainability.)