Critical Next Steps For Minnesota’s Retailers & Consumers
The Minnesota Retailers Association is ready to work with the Governor and local, state, and federal elected officials on important next steps. Our success in defeating COVID-19 and restoring Minnesota’s economy depends on balancing public health & economic health.
Our plan includes:
Phase I - IMMEDIATE
- Make all organizations impacted by COVID-19 eligible for the State DEED Emergency Loan Program. Immediate eligibility should be extended to all impacted businesses as thousands more organizations have been impacted by the pandemic. Access to this bridge loan is critical while awaiting federal relief. State action required. DONE!
- Delay May 15 business property tax payments 60 days and assist impacted local governments. Delaying the property tax payment for retailers and businesses broadly impacted by COVID-19 will result in immediate relief for property owners, create more flexibility for renters, and reduce reliance on loans. State or county action required DONE! Nearly half of MN counties enacted reflief or delayed payments.
- Extend and increase funds for the Federal Paycheck Protection Program to allow more access to this critical relief fund during any sustained economic slowdown. Federal action required. DONE!
Phase 2 - SHORT TERM – when supported by public health decisions
- Open up curbside shopping and delivery so main street retailers in every Minnesota community can generate some cash flow similar to restaurants and essential businesses today. This allows businesses to meet the needs of their customers, appropriately protect and care for their customers and workers, and begin important best practice safety preparations in anticipation of reopening. State action required. DONE, opened May 4.
- Take action to expand widespread COVID-19 antibody testing and tracing critical to getting Minnesotans back to work. Testing for emergency workers and including retail workers in grocery, pharmacy and other high public contact positions should be prioritized. State action required. DONE!.
Phase 3 - MID-TERM – when supported by public health decisions
- Let stores reopen to consumers under social distancing store best practices including steps to protect workers and customers similar to what essential businesses are doing today. Best practices include social distancing reminders and markings as well as controlling store flow and occupancy. State action required. DONE, open May 18!
- Return customers’ access to businesses under a new normal with post-pandemic shifts in operations based on lessons learned. State action required. Undone.