DEED Call for Business 1/21/2021
2021 01 21 Call, DEED
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Beth Johnston, Policy Advisor Dept of Revenue
Max Zappia, Asst Commissioner of Commerce
Steve Grove, Commissioner of DEED
Kevin McKinnon, Asst Commissioner of DEED
Elizabeth Frosch, Chief of Staff, DEED
Mark Simmer, staff, DEED
Nicole Blissenbach, Asst Commissioner of DLI
Dan Huff, Asst Commissioner of MDH
Darielle Dannen, Gov Relations Director, DEED
Jen Gates, Comms, DEED
THESE CALLS ARE ONCE A WEEK ON THURSDAY, 11am – 11:45am.
COVID-19 Information for Businesses – Stay Safe Guidance
COVID-19 Information for Minnesotans – Covid-19 Information and Resources
Minnesota Unemployment Insurance – Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program
Information for Businesses – A Guide for Minnesota Small Businesses Who Need Help
MN Dept. of Health
Businesses & Employers – Businesses and Employers: COVID-19
New COVID vaccine tracking: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/index.jsp
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry
COVID-19 Resources – UPDATES RELATED TO COVID-19
MN Dept. of Commerce
DEED, Steve Grove
- Governor’s proposed budget will be released 1/26/2021.
- Unemployment rate is down to 4.4%.
- People have stopped looking for work, so this is not a good barometer of recovery.
- 67.5% labor participation rate, down from 70% in Feb 2020. still 5+ percentage. points above the national average.
- Less than 10% of those who got on UI last month describe themselves as “permanently laid off.”
- OpenTable data says that people are coming back to the restaurants.
- Remain cautiously optimistic.
- www.Mn.gov/deed for deeper dive.
- Convention center/movie theatre grants
- Still accepting applications, due 1/29/2021.
- County programs are in full gear.
- All 87 counties have received their $ from MMB.
- Most programs are open to servicing their direct communities.
MDH, Dan Huff
- Pleased with where our numbers are now.
- Not seen a significant bump in numbers after Christmas and New Year’s.
- At 6000 deaths now in MN, a tragedy.
- Cautiously optimistic; in a race between vaccinations and the virus/new variant(s).
- UK variant IS in MN, expected to be 30-50% more contagious, based on epidemiological studies.
- We had a plan, working on Group 1A (LTC and medical providers/first responders)
- Fed govt asked us to target all Group 1 (65+, preexisting conditions)
- Fed govt promised more supply to support this plan, but they don’t have sufficient.
- 60K vaccines/week. At that rate, to give every Minnesotan 2 vaccines, will take 3.5 years.
- Planning continues: pivoted based upon new guidance.
- What has remained constant is the supply from fed govt.
- Expanding to allow for a pilot program, new traunch: those who are 65+ and our educators. 12K doses of vaccine to these 2 groups.
- In this pilot, community mass vaccination sites are being stood up, web based system for sign-up (has crashed once already).
- Entire state operation has been mobilized, with multiple agencies and National Guard.
- Ultimately, we need more vaccines. Steadily increasing the # of people vaccinated. I don’t know when we will be able to expand the reach.
Commerce, Max Zappia
- Not many new updates from last week.
- Commerce is tracking mortgage forbearance opportunities from fed guaranteed loans in CARES Act
- Press release earlier this month: if your loans are backed by FHA, deadline of EOM Feb. talk to your lender immediately about relief you think you may need (as it relates to COVID).
- This issue could adjust with new Administration.
- As we get more clarifying information, we will get it out.
- Several policy proposals in from of the Legislature. Commissioner is testifying today.
DLI, Nicole Blissenbach
- Skip workers comp and OSHA updates, they haven’t changed from last week.
- Tracking at the federal level: there is talk about federal OSHA possibly issuing emergency workplace standards to protect workers from COVID in the workplace.
- If that were to happen, though MN is a state-planned program, we’d need to enforce standards at least as effective as fed standards.
- Types of standards being discussed: are being enforced already in MN, because MDH guidelines already are pretty strict and OSHA is enforcing.
- FFCRA provisions expired on 12/31/2020.
- Lots of discussion with new Administration.
- Again, mandated paid leave expired, but employers CAN provide paid leave and receive the tax credit. Available thru 3/31/2021.
- FFCRA tax credits” on IRS website.
- Tracking bills introduced in MN Legislature, COVID-related.
- Emergency paid leave on state level
- Recall and retention rights for certain workers in hospitality industry.
Revenue, Beth Johnston
- This week, MN individual filing season opens on 2/12/2021, same day as federal filing season.
- Tax and software providers may be accepting returns before 2/12, but will submit when the systems open.
- Last week, initial business relief payments to nearly 4K eligible businesses. Part of legislation signed last month.
- Businesses that didn’t get relief payment but think they qualify (or if amount was wrong), use online inquiry process. Open thru 2/5/2021.
1. County programs require that a business has no lien against it to the state. Can you clarify? McKinnon: intent there is that there are no current tax liens to state or local units of govt. Construction or other liens may be on a filing, but we’re looking specifically at liens to govt.
2. If someone tried to schedule through pilot program on Tuesday, on wait list, will they be contacted when spots open or do they try again? Grove: Dan Huff had to step away. I believe you don’t have to try again, but will confirm with MDH and get back to you.