Coronavirus and COVID-19: Stay Informed, Be Prepared
We are monitoring the evolving situation with the Coronavirus and the spread COVID-19 cases by engaging our national partner organizations, State and local public health officials, and our member partners to bring you the latest updates and anticipated impact. Check all our media channels for alerts for new posts: bookmark this webpage, watch your email inbox, connect with us on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
In light of the Governor’s announcement that restaurants can open to very limited outdoor seating beginning on June 1, Liz Rammer released the following media statement:
“The news today was surprising and disappointing especially given the many conversations we’ve been having with the Governor and the Hospitality Roundtable convened by DEED Commissioner Grove. While it’s good for those restaurants that are able to offer outdoor seating, it will leave many behind around our state who cannot host patrons in an outdoor patio setting. Many of our operators have begun to hire back their staff to use their PPP loan money and ordering products for reopening on June 1, so this is another disastrous setback for them.
As these businesses stare into the face of financial collapse, today’s announcement further delays the incoming revenue these small businesses need to survive. If these businesses are being asked to remain closed or mostly closed, then they need the State’s help with a targeted relief package that provides the support our businesses need to navigate this financial catastrophe.
It's also disappointing to hear that there has been no accommodation made for opening recreational RV camping at private campgrounds in time for Memorial Weekend – one of the biggest revenue opportunities of our campgrounds short 100-day season. RV campers offer natural social distancing, providing families with a self-contained unit for their weekend experience in the great MN outdoors. We have been advocating for a phased approach to permit these cabins on wheels the green light for the important holiday weekend.”
Campgrounds will be able to open on June 1, as can salons and barber shops, with limitations.
Governor Walz announced that the current Stay at Home order (EO 20-20/20-33) will be allowed to expire on May 18, and we'll begin Stay Safe Minnesota, urging Minnesotans to continue practicing COVID-19 prevention through personal hygiene and social distancing, and discouraging all nonessential travel.
While it comes as no surprise, but with real disappointment, restaurants, bars and places of public accommodation will remain closed until June 1. We are, however, glad that an opening date has been identified and with the promise that the reopening guidance from the State will be available by May 20. See our full report HERE.
Hospitality Minnesota is leading a coalition of hospitality organizations, including the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, the Community of Minnesota Resorts and the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, to bring attention to the peril our industry faces and urge federal, state and local officials to work together to take action providing targeted relief. A press release sent to media outlets around the state this morning tells of the anticipated economic devastation if relief does not come soon. More information and updates can be found on our #SaveHospitality campaign page.
Governor Tim Walz has extended the Stay-at-Home order until May 18. However, some restrictions for retailers have been loosened. Full details here: https://bit.ly/May18Extension
For Resorts, RV Resorts and Campgrounds from the Department of Administration
Hospitality Minnesota has been fighting for campgrounds and resorts to be able to open safely, as well as to obtain clarity about their ability to operate (including seasonal renters). Consistent with our prior communications, the Department of Administration has now issued written guidance. We will continue our advocacy and communications efforts on allowing the expansion of safe operations as we go forward.
Today, the MN House, on a vote of 129-1, has passed “Alcohol-to-Go” legislation. We’ve been pushing on this issue since the closure. The bill goes next to the Governor for signature and goes into effect the next day. **For instance, if the bill is signed tonight, you can begin selling beer, cider, hard seltzer and wine tomorrow.
Today the Governor extended his “Stay-at-Home” order through May 4 and moves the Executive Order 20-04 limiting restaurants and other business from May 1 to May 4. This puts it in alignment with Stay-at-Home and the previously announced school closure.
Expanding eligibility to include hotels, resorts, campgrounds and other hospitality businesses that are taking the brunt of the economic crisis and “stay-at-home” order;
Immediately doubling the state’s investment—at a minimum—as suggested by Chair Mahoney. (The state has received $2.187 billion from the federal government and has additional surplus and reserve funds, some of which should be directed to help our industry since it provides 1 in 10 jobs); and
Increasing to the loan cap to $200,000 for hospitality businesses that can document their economic injury. The current cap of $35,000 is too limited to meet the financial obligations of many small hospitality businesses that currently have no or limited revenue.
The federal PPP program does not work for hospitality businesses as they are currently not able to bring back their employees quickly as contemplated by the federal bill to obtain forgiveness;
Interest-bearing loans, such as the federal EIDL program are problematic for hospitality businesses that already carry a significant debt load;
Hospitality businesses are at best bringing in 0-20% of their normal revenue, yet their financial obligations continue to come due (tax payments, rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, vendor payments, etc.) and they have no means to pay them; and
We need state assistance now. In a recent survey, over half of hospitality businesses projected they will be forced to close in the next one to three months at the current rate.
Tell your elected officials that this industry supports 300,000 jobs in Minnesota and we need this help to survive and ensure that we can continue to support these jobs.
Disaster Assistance in Response to Coronavirus: Small Business Administration
March 17: SBA Updates Criteria on States for Requesting Disaster Assistance: Small Business Administration
March 15: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: National Restaurant Association letter to Senators Schumer and McConnell
SBA Training for COVID-19 Resources. Register HERE
Employment law for COVID-19.
KLB Insurance - Insurance and Business Perspective
Legal Mandates for Employers in the wake of Coronavirus with Martin Kappenman of PRK&A
NATIONAL INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC RESOURCES
GLOBAL and NATIONAL RESOURCES
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Minnesota Unemployment Insurance – apply right away, even if you’re still working partial hours
United Way COVID-19 Response and Relief Fund – for assistance finding food, paying housing bills or other essential services statewide
SNAP Benefits – apply for food support
Energy Assistance Program – EPA helps pay heating costs for income-qualified households
Note: Heat cannot be cut off between October 15 and April 15. If you receive a disconnection notice, contact the utility immediately to negotiate a revised payment plan.
Golden Rule Charity – helping the hospitality industry in times of need.
Restaurant Workers Community Foundation – resources for restaurants and workers
United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) National Charity Foundation – resources for bartenders
Feeding America – find a food bank resource
FOOD DONATION PROGRAMS
Food donation programs accepting donations INCLUDING: Metro area establishments, Non-metro area establishments AND Put your establishment on the map of free meals
STRATEGIES FOR THE OTHER SIDE
With the release of the federal Guidelines on Reopening the economy, many publications and organizations are beginning to post articles and webinars offering perspectives what business might be like on the other side of COVID-19. Here is a selection from across the industry; since many of the strategies are focused on customer experience and developing new operational protocols, their usefulness in most cases extends beyond the sector it comes from:
Sanitation Strategies for Hotels | Lodging Magazine
Post-Covid-19 Hotel Re-Opening Planning – Start Now | Hospitality Net
Customized Reopening Assistance for Restaurants and Bars | The American Institute of Architects
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
If you have links or resources you’d like us to consider including, please forward them to Ann Kirby McGill at email@example.com