Minnesota State Capitol

Minnesota Legislature Passes COVID Relief Bill

We are Lakes Proud.

Brainerd Lakes Chamber


As you may know, state legislators passed a $216.8 million COVID relief bill. Special thanks to our friends at the Minnesota Retailers Association for this great summary:

  • $88 million to businesses closed to the public under Executive Order 20-99 and experiencing at least a 30% sales decline (compared to 2019) that provide on-site food and beverages including bars, restaurants, breweries and wineries as well as bowling alleys and fitness or sports recreation centers. Relief amounts ($10,000 – $45,000) will be based on number of workers.
  • $114.8 million directly to Minnesota counties for grants to eligible businesses and nonprofits impacted by any executive order related to COVID-19. Each Minnesota county will administer these relief funds including making eligibility decisions and can add their own eligibility requirements.
  • $14 million for movie theaters and multipurpose convention centers with a capacity of at least 1,500 people.
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks to April 20, 2021. Over 112,000 Minnesotans will be impacted by this provision.
  • The Governor’s peacetime emergency powers were also extended another 30 days, until January 13, 2021.

The first grant payments are expected to be made within two weeks, and all funds are expected to be distributed by March. We thank Senator Gazelka and our Lakes Area legislators for supporting this bill and getting it done quickly.

Now, we wait for the U.S. Congress to pass a federal relief package that would include another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), unemployment supplements, and fixes in loan forgiveness and taxability issues. After a $900 billion bipartisan proposal surfaced last week, Congressman Pete Stauber was optimistic that a bill could be passed before Christmas.

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