COVID-19 Resources

As our team partners with communities and organizations, we’ve established this web page to help you better understand the resources available to you now and in the future.

 



Families

Children’s Minnesota - Children's Minnesota is a Twin Cities-based non-profit that champions the health needs of children and families. They're providing updates, tips and information on a daily basis.

Minnesota Department of Health - Read the information on the right of the home page, the "News & Announcements" section, for the latest updates. Also, if your family is seeking child care, MDH has a link for that, too!

In addition, downloadable PDF copies of the Children's Cabinet Family Resource Guide in three different languages are available here in Spanish, Hmong and Somali.

Minnesota Unemployment Insurance - Apply for benefits if your employment has been affected by COVID-19.

Guidance for Minnesota Families - This PDF download, dated March 28, 2020, is a one-page document about finding child care during these times and information on distance learning.

United Way 211 - If your household is experiencing an emergency regarding food, housing, or other critical needs, you can see local resources at United Way's website or by calling 2-1-1.

Minnesota Housing - Due to housing security concerns due to COVID-19 closures, the Governor has issue special provisions to prevent evictions, including foreclosure action.  

National Digital Inclusion Alliance -  Find free or low-cost internet connectivity from your local provider.

 

Businesses

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - The CDC offers interim guidance for businesses and employers.

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce - The Chamber provides a robust COVID-19 Business Toolkit. 

U.S. Small Business AssociationSBA Economic Injury Assistance Disaster Loans are now available to businesses and nonprofits in Minnesota.  More information is available on Emergency Loans below. 

Department of Revenue – The Minnesota Department of Revenue has guidance available on their website regarding tax liabilities of federal and state assistance.

Internal Revenue Service – The IRS is delaying payment due dates (not filing) for individuals and corporations.

Department of Labor and Industry –  In order to reopen in accordance with executive order 20-40, a business will need to complete a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, as per state guidance. Information on the "critical industries" as defined by executive order 20-20 is also available.  

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – DEED has released a variety of resources for businesses and employers.  DEED has also released the Small Business Emergency Loan program. More information is available on Emergency Loans below.

Shared Work Program – The shared work program from Minnesota Unemployment allows businesses to get UI benefits for their workers if they can reduce number of hours of several employees rather than laying off a few employees.  This allows the business to take advantage of UI dollars and keep employees. 

U.S. Chamber Foundation – The Save Small Business Fund is a grant initiative offering short-term relief for small employers of $5,000 grants. Businesses will need their W9 form to apply.  To qualify you must employ between 3 and 20 people; have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic; and be located in an economically vulnerable community – businesses can check their zip code eligibility on the site. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – Minnesota has implemented the federal program for self-employed individuals to receive unemployment assistance payments. To qualify, the individual must have been shut down by executive orders and have had the self-employment as their primary source of income. Self-employment from passive income is not eligible. Please note that a business may be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, and an individual be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. A step-by-step guide to the application is available.

Small Business Emergency Loans

West Central Initiative has prepared an Economic Injury Loan Checklist to assist businesses in preparing for applications to the variety of assistance loans listed below.  They include:

  • SBA Economic Injury Assistance Disaster Loans* are now available to businesses and nonprofits in Minnesota.  These low-interest loans can be extended up to 30 years and have a maximum dollar amount of $2 million.  There is a 14-minute informational video available as well.  We've been informed that these loans are on hold to provide quicker response to the $10,000 Advance program.  *This program is currently open to agricultural businesses, including farms and ranches.
    • $10,000 Advance Now Available with SBA Disaster Loans:  On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity for an up to a $10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance.  This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending.  This advance will be forgiven.  To qualify for the advance, you will need to submit a new application if you applied earlier than April 4. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.  

    • Current SBA loan customers with traditional loans, such as 7(a), 504, or Microloan, should have been contacted by their SBA lender regarding the six-month loan coverage program.

  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program** is available to any small business, including 501(c)(3) non-profit, 501(c)19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern, that has 500 employees or less.  This loan will be fully forgiven if funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and/or utilities.  Payments will be deferred six months.  No collateral or personal guarantees are required, nor will fees be charged. **This program was reopened on 4/27/20.  If an application was submitted prior to 4/27/20 and not funded, it will need to be resubmitted to the SBA by the lender.

    • The application for forgiveness of an existing PPP loans was released 5/15/20 and is available here.

  • Small Business Emergency Loan program from DEED is an interest-free loan can total from $2,500 to $35,000 and will be based on the firm's economic injury and financial need. The loan may also be partially forgivable. WCI is now an approved lender as of April 3.  Email any questions or inquiries to loans@wcif.org  Importantly, these funds are restricted to businesses that were impacted by Executive Order 20-04 and 20-08 (mandated closures).  DEED is requiring that applicants apply for and be denied traditional lender financing.  DEED also requires that a business apply for an Economic Injury Disaster loan through the SBA (see above). 

  • MMCDC Small Business Emergency Loans are available to small businesses in west central Minnesota.  Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation.  Loans can total up to $50,000 and offer a 3.5% fixed interest rate (maximum of $25,000 if unsecured).  The program offers a 12-month interest-only payment plan, as part of a 10-year amortization schedule.   

  • Small Business Development Center - The West Central MN SBDC is available to answer specific questions about financial packages and resources. 

Nonprofits

Otto Bremer Trust - The Otto Bremer Trust has established a $50 million emergency fund to provide financial support to nonprofits and other community organizations impacted by and responding to the pandemic.

SBA Economic Injury Assistance Disaster Loans* - These low-interest loans can be extended up to 30 years and have a maximum dollar amount of $2 million.  There is a 14-minute informational video available as well. We've been informed that these loans are on hold to provide quicker response to the $10,000 Advance program. *This program is out of funds until more are allocated.

  • $10,000 Advance Now Available with SBA Disaster Loans:  On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity for an up to a $10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance.  This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.  To qualify for the advance, you will need to submit a new application if you applied before April 4. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.  
  • Current SBA loan customers with traditional loans, such as 7(a), 504, or Microloan, should have been contacted by their SBA lender regarding the six-month loan coverage program.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program** is available to any small business, including 501(c)(3) non-profit, 501(c)19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern, that has 500 or less employees.  This loan will be fully forgiven if funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.  Payments will be deferred six months.  No collateral or personal guarantees are required, nor will fees be charged. **This program was reopened on 4/27/20.  If an application was submitted prior to 4/27/20 and not funded, it will need to be resubmitted to the SBA by the lender. 

  • The application for forgiveness of an existing PPP loans was released 5/15/20 and is available here.

Funders' Network Resources - This site features dozens of links to ways philanthropic organizations are coping along with news articles that nonprofit leaders may find useful. 

Foundation Directory Online - Trying to search for grants from home? You can access Candid’s Foundation Directory Online through West Central Initiative with this link. If needed, contact Wendy Merrick at West Central Initiative for help: wendy@wcif.org or 218-998-1622.

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits - Check out the list of resources to support nonprofits and the grant directory geared toward the current crisis.

Minnesota Council on Foundations - The Minnesota Council on Foundations and the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation have created a fund to support response efforts across the state. The fund will be distributing $5 million in aid to grantmakers to support response efforts. Although this is not an opportunity open to nonprofits, the funds will be used to re-grant to nonprofits. 

Prairie Family Business Association - This organization provides family businesses with the tools to succeed through education and collaboration.

Propel Nonprofits - Resources to strengthen the strategy, governance and finances of nonprofits. Propel is offering no-cost technical assistance to nonprofits to help navigate the current environment. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation - Links to resources on business resilience and disaster recovery. 

Candid - Candid tracks news, funding and newly-established, dedicated funds to help organizations, many hosted by community foundations, in the wake of our national emergency. 

Child Care Providers

Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants - The Department of Human Services, Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, and Child Care Aware of Minnesota are working together to distribute funds for emergency grants for licensed child care providers serving essential workers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Child Care Aware of Minnesota - The organization launched a dedicated hotline for child care providers to provide rapid response and resources. (Español

Committee for Economic Development  - The CED offers podcasts and othe resources for child-care providers who want to more clearly assess the implications of available federal assistance, as well as how to prioritize business expenses and support economic viability in the short- and long-term. 

Minnesota Department of Health - This web page provides information for both child care providers and families in need of child care. Simply choose between Families or Providers.

Minnesota Department of Human Services - This link provides news on April 24 from the Dept. of Human Services that details temporary modifications for child care regulations and procedures. Updates on all DHS virus response is available on the agency's home page.

Minnesota Housing - Due to housing security concerns due to COVID-19, the Governor has issue special provisions to prevent evictions, including foreclosure action.

Child Care Aware of America - This site provides a list of emergency funding resources for child care providers on a national scale, along with some tips.

Local Emergency Center Contacts by County - This downloadable PDF contains a statewide list of emergency centers. Child care providers with urgent needs may contact their corresponding center.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - The CDC has created a page specifically for child care providers. You'll find these additional considerations are intended to provide guidance for a range of child care programs. This is information contained within the CDC's school & child care guide.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – Minnesota has implemented the federal program for self-employed individuals to receive unemployment assistance payments. To qualify, the individual must have been shut down by executive orders and have had the self-employment as their primary source of income. Self-employment from passive income is not eligible. Please note that a business may be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, and an individual be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. A step-by-step guide to the application is available.

Related Articles

West Central Initiative, through its 2020 Resiliency Fund, is awarding more than $700,000 to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations seeking to respond to the immediate COVID-19 needs of our region and the long-term recovery of west central Minnesota.

West Central Initiative has secured more than $1 million to respond to the immediate COVID-19 needs of our region and the long-term recovery of west central Minnesota. The organization serves Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties and the portion of White Earth Nation that lies within Becker County.