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  • 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.

    A letter from the Chamber board chair and interim CEO.

  • 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 post 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 3/27/2020.
     

  • Small Business Disaster Loans - Cass & Clay businesses can apply now Small Business Disaster Loans - Cass & Clay businesses can apply now

    Note: SBA Loan Assistance site is experiencing occasional issues. If you are experiencing this, please check back and refresh that page.

    For businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is responding with the Small Business Disaster Loan program. With passage of the supplemental appropriation, the SBA was provided funding to distribute through their disaster relief program.

    The SBA has officially declared both North Dakota and Minnesota as eligible disaster areas. Cass and Clay County small businesses can begin applying for low-interest federal disaster loans.

    Access the financial assistance application here. Applications will be processed on a first come first serve basis, so for quickest relief, it is in your best interest to apply as soon as you are able.

    These loans can be used for the following purposes.

      *   Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid due to the disaster’s impact.
      *   Up to $2m Per Business
      *   3.75% interest rate for small business and 2.75% for non-profits
      *   May be able to pay back over a 30-year term depending on borrower ability to repay
      *   Applicants must not have credit readily available elsewhere
      *   This is a direct loan from the SBA and online applications are available here.

    SBA Disaster Assistance PDF


    Stop #1—Your Local Bank
    Your Local Bank.  If the company has a loan with their local bank, this is their first stop.  They are the most knowledgeable about your situation and how to assist your specific needs.

    Stop #2—SBA Small Business Disaster Loan
    With passage of the supplemental appropriation, the SBA was provided funding to distribute through their disaster relief program. These loans can be used for the following purposes. (More information below regarding the application process for this assistance program)

    • Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid due to the disaster’s impact. 
    • Up to $2m Per Business
    • 3.75% interest rate for small business and 2.75% for non-profits 
    • May be able to pay back over a 30-year term depending on borrower ability to repay
    • Applicants must not be eligible for other loans
    • This is a direct loan from the SBA and online applications are available at www.sba.gov/disaster


    Stop #3—ND Department of Commerce/ BND
    The Department of Commerce has several options.

    Option 1: The North Dakota Department of Commerce is granted the ability to provide “Emergency Loans” through its rural growth incentive program. Under this program, the DOC may declare an emergency and make loans to “Essential Service Companies.”  These include gas stations; pharmacies; grocers; and in some cases, restaurants.  

    • Communities with less than 2,500 in population are eligible
    • The request to NDDF is a dollar-for-dollar match by the city
    • A community can apply for $25,000 to $75,000 in matching funding
    • Loan terms are based on individual needs


    Option 2: Loans for companies certified as primary sector. Details of this program include:

    • Up to $1 MM for job creation or retention
    • Lower than market interest rated
    • Must have secured matching financing from a private bank

     

    Option 3: Childcare Loan Program

    • Up to $100,000
    • 2.5% rate


    Additional details as well as programs can be located at: https://www.business.nd.gov/development_fund/NDDFPrograms/

     

    Option 4: Pace/ Flex Pace (BND)

     


    (Credit: ND Department of Commerce) 
    For questions regarding the above information or federal assistance programs, please contact ND Dept. of Commerce designated Cass County advisor, Don Hochhalter: dhochhalter@nd.gov or 701-388-9339

  • Federal Legislation - employers & employees Federal Legislation - employers & employees

    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.
     


    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.
    Non-essential business closures in effect Friday, March 27 - Friday, May 1.




    MN Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Small Business Emergency Loan Program

    On March 23, Governor Walz announced this Executive Order intended to offer emergency help for business owners affected by the recent temporary closures. This executive order directs DEED to create a Small Business Emergency Loan Program by making available $30 million from special revenue funds.

    Loans will:

    • Range from $2,500 to $35,000 and will be based on the firm’s economic injury and the financial need.
    • Be interest free.
    • Be paid back monthly over five years and the first payment will be deferred six months with potentially partial forgiveness.
    • Be provided to only Minnesota-based businesses.

    Find out if you are eligible and how to apply at: https://mn.gov/deed/business/financing-business/deed-programs/peacetime

    Note: To qualify, businesses must have sought or be in the process of seeking the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Refer to the above SBA tab for information on that process.


    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.


    On Thursday, 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

  • Local Information Local Information

    • For questions related to COVID-19, the North Dakota Department of Health has activated a hotline, which can be reached at 1-866-207-2880 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
    • Essentia Health is waiving the fee for E-visits related to screening and evaluation of respiratory symptoms and concerns related to COVID-19. If you’re 18 or older and live in Minnesota, Wisconsin or North Dakota, you can use this convenient and cost-effective online service. You don’t have to be an Essentia patient to have an E-visit.
    • Sanford Health information
    • Fargo Cass Public Health: 701-241-1360

    The Fargo City Commission has approved the curbside, to-go sale and delivery of alcohol within Fargo city limits for a period of 30 days beginning Monday, March 23. Proof of age and open container laws are not affected by the temporary policy change and businesses will remain held to a high standard of conduct pertaining responsible service.

  • 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.

     

    Minnesota

    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.


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  • We will continue to send important 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.


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  • Local Restaurants and more

  • We are working on a guide to member restaurants who are ready to serve you with pick up and/or delivery options! Your support is appreciated and significant. Check out these great options!

    See list >>

  • Do you know someone whose job has been impacted recently? Family FareHornbacher's and Cashwise are in need of help during these busy times, and are inviting restaurant employees and others who may have had hours cut, to join their teams.

    Food Dudes is taking on new restaurants and also needs temporary drivers. If you are a restaurant owner and want to partner with Food Dudes, visit this page.


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  • Community offerings, needs & resources

  • This page highlights the great things our community members and businesses are doing to support each other. From yoga classes to professional business resources. If you have something you would like to share with the community, please email us!

    Visit page >>


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  • City of Moorhead - Mayor's Message
  • City of Fargo - Briefing on Closures

  • We want to hear from you ...
     

  • Resources



  • If you're looking for community offerings, needs and resources, visit this page.