SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Monday night, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed new COVID-19 assistance legislation for Minnesota workers and businesses. The bill includes a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits for workers and $216 million worth of assistance for businesses most impacted by the pandemic. The legislation invests $88 million in direct financial aid to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, breweries, wineries and distilleries with taprooms or tasting rooms, caterers, bowling alleys, and some gyms and fitness centers. It also includes $114.5 million in county grants for other businesses impacted by the pandemic, including hotels, museums, arcades and live theater venues. Finally, it provides $14 million worth of grants to movie theaters and large convention centers. The bill also waives or delays a series of fees for the hospitality industry.
Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL – Aurora) issued the following statement:
“This legislation will provide urgent support for small businesses and workers who continue to experience unemployment. But this isn’t the only answer nor the long-term solution. We have to find a way to reopen businesses safely and build back consumer confidence. This package was not a need or want; it was a must at this critical time to help businesses that have been harmed due to no fault of their own.”