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Steps to Take Now

Establish Your COVID-19 Preparedness Plan So You Can Reopen

We're on the path to opening back up as the Governor acknowledges our suggestions and begins taking the steps to get us back to work. Announcing that the Stay and Home order will be extended by 2 weeks, with a new end-date of May 18th, our businesses will be allowed to offer curbside and delivery service starting this Monday, May 4th. 

Curbside and Delivery Allowed As Of Monday, May 4 (with Plan In Place)

CODIV-19 Preparedness Plan

In order to provide service, you will need to have a "COVID-19 Preparedness Plan" in place. This plan must show how your business will implement the MN OSHA Standards, MDH and CDC Guidelines in your workplace.

Full Requirements:  https://mn.gov/deed/safework/

Plan Requirements:

  1. Work from home must continue whenever possible.
  2. Ensure sick workers stay home. Your plan must have policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick workers from entering the workplace
  3. Establish Social Distancing in the workplace
  4. Employee Hygiene
  5. Cleaning and Disinfection protocols 

Optional template: https://mn.gov/deed/safework/

Plan Documentation and Notification Requirements:

  1. Sign Off. The owner or senior management responsible for implementing the Plan must sign and certify the Plan, affirming their commitment to implement and follow the Plan. 
  2. Notify Employees. You must provide your Plan, in writing, to all workers, and the Plan must be posted at all of your business’s workplaces in locations that will allow for the Plan to be readily reviewed by all workers. Where physical posting is impracticable, the Plan can be posted electronically, provided that the Plan is received by all workers and remains available for their review. 
  3. Training. You must ensure that training is provided to workers on the contents of their Plan and required procedures, so that all workers understand and are able to perform the precautions necessary to protect themselves and their co-workers. This training should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers. 
  4. Supervise. You should also take steps to supervise workers and ensure that workers understand and adhere to necessary precautions to prevent COVID-19 transmission. 
  5. Document. You should be demonstrating compliance with this training requirement and documentation must be maintained and made available to regulatory authorities and public safety officers, including DLI, upon request.
You do not need to submit their Plans for preapproval. Upon request, Non-Critical Exempt Businesses must make their Plans available to regulatory authorities and public safety officers, including DLI. 

If you need assistance in creating your preparedness plan, would like to roundtable with other area businesses to discuss best practices or have questions about any of this information, SWBA is here to assist you. Please contact us through Jessica or comment on the forums on our COVID information page.

With more options for support coming out every day, KJ at the West Bank Business Association offered up the following strategies for our businesses to break this down into steps you can take right now.

1)      If you are eligible, apply for the MN Emergency Loan program.

If you own a business that was ordered to close due to the governor’s executive order, you are eligible for this program. The application is a very simple one, but it is really a screening tool to see if you are eligible. It can be found at
If you’re eligible, get in line for that program, which is at 0% interest and partially forgivable.
2)      Get in line for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). 

This is the loan that comes with the $10,000 grant. The SBA has a streamlined process to apply for this right now. If later, it turns out you don’t want this loan (because you get the MN loan or you choose to take the paycheck protection loan, for example), you don’t have to take it. We don’t know how long it will take the SBA to process application, but they are accepting applications, so you might as well get in line right now.

The streamlined application is at https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
The new, easy application is on a functional website unlike the old SBA website. It will ask about owners (names, SSNs, addresses, place of birth). It will ask about last year’s sales, so having 2019 taxes or records will help you. It will ask you if you want $10,000. Check that box yes. You don’t have to take it if it turns out you are going to access the paycheck loan instead.

3)      If you are self-employed or a small business, set up your unemployment insurance account as an applicant. 

MN Deed is waiting for the federal government to tell them how to administer the newly expanded unemployment insurance for self-employed people. So, you can’t set up your business account with them yet. However, you can and should go online (please, don’t call them – they are overwhelmed) and let them know you are unemployed and need paycheck replacement. Even people who do not get paychecks (who only have Schedule C/Net Profits as sole proprietors) should be eligible for the new program once it is in place. You can get your account set up at https://www.uimn.org/
4)      Get all your documents together. 

Whatever program you are going to end up using to replace your business income or pay your business debts, you are going to need financial statements. You need to have all these statements together so that when you get to the front of the line, you will be ready and the funds won’t run out while you’re getting documents together. You will need this information even for the MN Small Business Emergency Loan.
Conveniently, If you complete the SBA forms you will have gotten all the information you need together and ready for whatever program you are eligible for. These forms are located at
 Get together the information for Form 5 for organized business entities (Form 5C for sole proprietors) plus Form 413D Personal Financial Statement and 2202 Schedule of Liabilities.
You are going to need information from all owners who own 20% or more of your business.
You will also need a balance sheet. For bigger businesses, you probably have a balance sheet included as part of your taxes. For smaller businesses, you need to make a list of all the things your business owns and what they are worth AND everything your business owes (all its debts). We can help you with this, or any of the 2019 or 2020 bookkeeping you need to do. Don’t wait until you get to the front of the line to get these materials together.
5)      Start evaluating whether you may want the forgivable paycheck protection act loan. 

The federal government is still writing the rules that will say how paycheck protection act loans will be done and who can get them. They are supposed to send out those rules soon but the earliest these loans will be available to apply for will be next week.
There are a lot of things to consider in thinking about whether you want to apply for the forgivable paycheck protection act loan or the SBA loan plus grant. Before you can figure out which direction to go for your business, you need to calculate your average monthly payroll for the last 12 months.
a.       Add up your payroll costs for the last 12 months (if possible, Q2, Q3, Q4 of 2019 and Q1 of 2020). Look at the CARES email for what is included in “payroll costs,” or work with me and I can help you figure out what is included.
b.       Divide this number by 12.
c.       Multiply this by 2.5
The result of this calculation should be the maximum you can get from the payroll protection act loan.
After you figure out this number, let’s talk about what that loan can be used for vs. the SBA loan and weigh also the potential value of the wage credit for businesses which were closed due to executive action or had significant revenue loss – that wage credit is not available for wages paid for with the paycheck protection loan. This is very individualized and can be complicated analysis and we don’t have all the information that we need to figure this out completely but we can start thinking things through with information you do have.
Everyone, I know this is a lot of information and I am sorry if I am bombarding you with it. And it's extra hard that things are changing minute to minute and we have a brand new Federal Law that hasn’t been fully interpreted or explained or implemented by our government yet. Everyone in government is working as fast they can, but government fast doesn’t feel that fast to the rest of us.

I hope these steps help you think things through. I believe there are also going to be other programs coming up from the state and the city of Minneapolis and we will share that information as soon as we have it.

Some of you are going to need help applying, some of you will need help getting financial statements developed, some of you may just need to talk things through on the phone. Wherever you are at, please email me if you need help sorting things through or if you just need to talk! Our City of Minneapolis businesses get FREE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE from WBBA that Minneapolis has generously provided for this emergency. So, don’t hesitate to use that help.  The best way to reach out is to email me at kj@thewestbank.org

Know that SWBA is here to help answer your questions as well. While we're not staffed with financial experts, we can help point you in the right direction and answer basic questions about the funding options that are available. If you have a specific need that isn't being addressed, we want to hear from you so we can help advocate for you. Reach out to Jessica at 612-823-3472 or jessica@experiencesouthwest.com. 

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