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APPLE VALLEY CHAMBER NOTE: DEED begins talking about trying to start new businesses, incubators, start-ups and workforce development fund tax system upgrading. Vaccine distribution has no one happy. Looking to expand sites. TAXES: Said 99.3% Minnesotans will see no tax increase. Corporations will have 21,000 have franchise tax increase. State Business Relief Program has new online inquiry process and online process open through 2/5 and 1st bucket focused on RESTAURANTS, BOWLING AND FITNESS CENTERS.
PLEASE NOTE the Q&A section talks about if you registered for the 65 year olds Vaccine Lottery Tuesday, you DO NOT NEED TO RE-REGISTER AGAIN. Outdoor sports question and is still at max 150 people but Grove said it is tied to restaurants which doesn’t make sense so they are reviewing outdoor capacities for large venues and sports. Last paragraph is about PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE (PFML) UP TO 12 WEEKS. Looking to charge employers .6% and adding $11.5 million to get the tax technology similar to Unemployment Insurance. Focus is on taking care of newborns.
2021 01 28 Call, DEED
Thursday, January 28, 2021
11:00 AM
Peter Brickwedde, Asst Commissioner of Commerce
Robert Doty, Commissioner of Revenue
Steve Grove, Commissioner of DEED
Mark Simmer, staff, DEED
Nicole Blissenbach, Asst Commissioner of DLI
Dan Huff, Asst Commissioner of MDH
Kevin McKinnon, Asst Commissioner of DEED
Helpful Links:
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
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
MN Dept. of Commerce
DEED, Steve Grove
  • Moving forward: as we’ve tracked thee calls and state of pandemic, question flow has been great. Cadence will be bi-weekly as of Feb.
  • Has been a busy week with Gov announcement on Tuesday.
  • We believe thoughtful approach to bringing the economy back.
  • Not taking our eye off the ball of immediate rescue ($50M program for small business – 50% forgivable, appropriations bonds pkg for corridors in Mpls/St Paul)
  • Look-ahead to what workers will need in the months ahead.
  • Small businesses provide the engine and most new jobs. Good proposals to ramp up small business incubator support, emphasis on start-up ecosystem.
  • We are bullish that more tech companies will get started in the upcoming months.
  • Launch MN, flagship program for start-ups.
  • Angel Tax Credit program.
  • MN is uniquely positioned given our diverse ecosystem to thrive in the entrepreneurial space.
  • Eager to hear your ideas.
  • Important is safety net, incl unemployment insurance, paid family medical leave.
  • Workforce Development Fund. Incredible resource, paid into thru payroll taxes, not modernized since 1980s. Only state in the country to have this, focusing on structural changes.
  • Expand funding to reskilling,
  • support innovation,
  • root it in equity,
  • clear performance metrics
MDH, Dan Huff
  • Case #s continue to look good, positivity statewide continues to decline.
  • Southern MN is ahead of state average.
  • 1% of daily test counts are positives per day with whole genome sequencing, to identify the new variants. May spread much more quickly.
  • B117 Variant in UK
  • P1 variant in Brazil
  • Vaccines
  • It’s safe to say no one is happy with how vaccines are going.
  • That said, significant work is happening.
  • Gov Walz has increased allotment by 16% from fed govt.
  • Were getting updates on upcoming shipments on a weekly basis, now getting updates on numbers for 2 weeks out. Can do better planning.
  • Continuing to work on many different vaccination channels; health care providers, pharmacy, public health, state vaccination clinics. Adds complications/planning, but to go further and faster, we need team.
  • Will be vital to have many different vaccination channels as the # of available vaccines grows.
  • Next allocation tranche will be determined hopefully yet this week.
Commerce, Peter Brickwedde
  • Continue to ww MDH re complaints about charges for testing. New language on state’s website encouraging people to not pay for any charge they might receive re COVID testing. Work with your insurer.
  • Statistics affected in part by COVID in past 10 mths:
  • Track # license exams that Commerce administers across RE, appraisal licensees.
  • In Jan 2020, first 3 weeks, delivered 661 pre license exams across all license types.
  • Same time in 2021, operating at 50% capacity at facilities, over 1000 exams. Majority are being driven by increase in applicants for RE exams.
  • For 99.3% of Minnesotans, no tax increase.
  • Tax increase focused on 7/10 of 1% of Minnesotans.
  • For corporations, increase in corporate franchise tax, impacting about 21K MN corporations.
Revenue, Robert Doty
  • Gov budget release, center of our universe this past week.
  • Working on COVID 19 recovery budget.
  • This morning I presented it at Senate Tax Committee.
  • Truly about helping those who have been most hurt by the pandemic.
  • Goal is to ensure we have statewide recovery that benefits all of us.
  • Business Relief Payments being sent out. Started sending on 1/11. now opened up online inquiry process.
  • 824 online inquiries thus far, from business owners who did not receive payment or felt payment was wrong. Getting additional information. Reviewing each and making corrections as needed.
  • Online process will remain open thru 2/5/2021.
  • First bucket focused on restaurants/bowling alleys/ fitness centers/bars.
  • Filing season opens a little later this year:
  • Fed govt opens 2/12/2021.
  • Just because the season is opening later than usual, deadline remains 4/15/2021.
DLI, Nicole Blissenbach
  • Updated work comp claims data thru 1/26
  • 17,880 claims
  • Increasing % of # of claims coming in from mth to mth.
  • On Jan 21, EO issued by President Biden focusing on protecting worker health and safety.
  • A few directives to federal OSHA.
  • Specific directive to review guidance that has been released by federal OSHA to focus on employers and workplace safety.
  • Also for fed OSHA to consider whether emergency temporary standards are necessary to protect workers.
  • If they are needed, must be issued by 3/15/2021. more to come if we will issue temporary standards.
  • Review enforcement efforts and coordinate with state planned programs (like MN).
  • We run OSHA thru DLI. So more reporting on enforcement actions we have taken as a state planned program, and coordinating with Fed OSHA to ensure we are doing what we need to do.
  • That EO is available, 3 pages, on WhiteHouse.gov website.
  1. Vaccine pilot program for 2 weeks. Registered parents, both waitlisted both weeks. Do I need to continue pre-registering or do we remain on wait list? Huff: once you are on the wait list, you do NOT need to re-enter.
  2. My city has semi pro baseball team, updated info on attendees possible. Any further clarity to help plan the season? Grove: # is now at 150 for capacity. Actively examining capacity limits. Commissioner Huff indicates that news has been largely good. Only a couple weeks in, monitoring the data, new variants are concerning… but undeniably the case that we are in a much better place than Dec. also talking about private parties in restaurants. Don’t want “one size fits all” rules… right now large venues are grouped with restaurants which doesn’t make a lot of sense. Made sense with the more worrisome numbers. As they improve, we are reviewing guidance. Ask you to continue to push us as we navigate moving forward.
  3. What is the phone # for restaurants that did not receive check? Doty: 651-282-9999. https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/covid-19-business-relief-programs
  4. Will small business program be administered by DEED or by the partners used last year? Grove: will continue to partner with private lending partners. Phenomenal job in partnership in first round.
  5. Please explain further the PFML proposal. Grove: Paid Family Medical Leave. Unique in the world without national benefit. Allows people to step away from work with some level of wage replacement. Not true for 1 in 4 workers in MN. Proposal chargers .6% to employer, can be split with employee. Get 12 weeks of leave when you need it. Many larger companies already have this. Smaller companies can’t provide this benefit at their scale. Having a statewide system is the thesis of this. Start-up costs for state would be about $11.5M to build the technology to pull in the payroll tax. Build a team in DEED to execute on this, similar to UI. Issue around how much wages to replace, sliding scale, probably an average of about 2/3 wage replacement… some partial wage relief for taking care of family. Is a growing trend nationwide, good protection for workers. The First 1000 Days of a child’s life are absolutely essential to brain development, long term growth. Having a parent there with newborn, one of top ways for babies to get off to a good start. Parents choosing between work and newborns is bad for our community. Looking forward to talking about this with Legislature.
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