I continue working with our Edina residents on support strategies for our businesses, schools, and families related to the hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, when Governor Walz implemented new measures to “turn back the dials” in response to the surge of COVID cases in Minnesota, we got to work on ensuring those impacted businesses and workers would have some help. Although the federal government has more resources to more fully address the issues facing our Edina community, their delay in passing a robust relief package required us to take quick action at the state level.
The package of COVID-19 assistance legislation we passed Monday night isn’t a fix-all solution, but it does provide a bridge for those struggling to get by until federal relief can arrive. The bill includes a 13-week extension of unemployment insurance and direct financial support for businesses. The Department of Revenue estimates that 5,800 small businesses will receive $82-88 million beginning before the end of the year. Another $114.5 million will be distributed to counties to provide grants to impacted businesses, and movie theaters and convention centers will receive $14 million. In this bill, Hennepin County would receive just over $25.2 million for small business grants. You can find specifics on this legislation, including eligible businesses, program requirements, and payment amounts here.
Updated Guidance for Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, and Other Venues
While the trend of cases are going down, they still remain at dangerously high levels, and the most recent data we received yesterday showed one of the deadliest days yet in this pandemic. In response to this, Governor Walz provided an update on the measures bars, restaurants, gyms, and other venues are adhering to, which start on December 19:
- Bars, restaurants, and breweries: Will remain closed for indoor dining, but they may open for outdoor service at 50 percent capacity or up to 100 people.
- Gyms and fitness studios: May open for individual exercise at 25 percent capacity, or 100 people maximum.
- Youth and adult sports: Practices can resume January 4.
- Outdoor entertainment venues: Open at 25 percent capacity, up to 100 people maximum
- Social Gatherings: Minnesotans may gather inside with one other household up to 10 people. If outside, social gatherings may include up to two additional households (three total) with a maximum of 15 people. Masking and social distancing is strongly encouraged.
You can find information on these updates and more at StaySafe.MN.