Support and Information During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Image may contain: text

SWBA is here to help you through this difficult time. As information and resources become available, we'll be updating this page. If you have a specific question, or need help connecting to an expert or resource, please reach out to us and we'll do all we can to get you what you need.

Latest Updates 3/27

Governor's latest executive order goes into effect at Midnight tonight, officially closing most of our boutique shops, and extending the takeout/delivery only food services.

Conversation area for local businesses to ask questions and share information about surviving the Covid-19 pandemic.


Last message


Minnesota State of Emergency

The Governor issued a state of emergency. Here are the main points:

  • Closure of MN K-12 Schools through May 4th. Home learning begins March 30
  • Through April 10, All NON-Critical Businesses ordered to close/work from home and all residents under StayAtHome orders (Mar 27 Order).
  • Through May 1, the following closures apply
      • Restaurants, Food Courts, and other Food/Beverage closed for on-premises consumption. Take-out and Delivery operations may continue.
      • Bars and other establishments offering public accommodation of alcoholic beverages are closed for on-premises consumption.
      • Hookah bars, cigar bars and vaping lounges are closed for on-premises consumption.
      • Theaters, cinemas, indoor and outdoor performance venues and museums are closed.
      • Gyms, fitness centers, rec centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios and spas are to be closed.
      • Amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities are to be closed.
      • Country clubs, golf clubs, boating or yacht clubs, sports or athletic clubs and dining clubs are to be closed.
  • Recommends "Social Distancing" of at least 6 feet between people where gathering is required

Business Property Safety During Mandated Shutdown

There's already been an uptick in burglaries of closed businesses due to #Covid19 shutdown.


  • Review your security plans.
  • Remove all cash from the business leaving cash drawers open and empty.
  • Remove or secure items of opportunistic theft, especially items that can be seen and then grabbed by smashing an exterior window.
  • Lock up liquor.
  • Ensure your security system is operational and accessible. Arm it every time someone is not present.
  • Check to make sure security cameras are working and aimed at the right locations to capture suspicious activity and suspects’ faces.
  • Review your security and staffing plans to ensure a sufficient number of employees are on site.
  • Review plans for limiting opportunities for crime and insure staff know your procedures for robbery and theft incidents.
  • Review your policies for cash on hand.
  • Control access to the establishment for customers coming in for pickups; maintain safe spacing of at least 6-feet between people.
  • Lock all doors that are not being used for the operation of your limited business.
  • Secure access to non-public areas, bathrooms and storage rooms.
  • Train staff to be observant and report suspicious people within or around your business
  • Check to make sure security cameras are working and aimed at the right locations to capture suspicious activity and suspects’ faces.
  • If you are using delivery drivers, review safety plans with drivers. Remind them to be vigilant if approached by a stranger on the street.They should never leave the keys in their car and never leave the car running while making the delivery.

How You Can Keep Operating During the State of Emergency

Delivery Service, Window Service, Walk-Up Service, Drive-Through Service, Drive-Up Service, Online Sales, Online Group Connections and Classes are all allowed and encouraged, keeping in mind the current recommendations for social distancing and increased health recommendations.

The Governor is permitting up to 5 members of the public to be in a location at any given time for the purpose of picking up orders, so long as those individuals stay at least 6 feet apart from one another while on site.

Groceries, Markets, Convenience Stores, Pharmacies, Drug Stores, Food pantries, Health Care Facilities, Child Care Facilities, and other Care Facilities are exempt from the restrictions. 

Governor Walz Executive Order   Mar 27 Executive Order

Keep Promoting Your Business and Connect Online

Trending Tags

#quarantineandchill  #supportyourlocalcommunity  #AloneTogether  #shoplocal  #localcommunity  #ilovemycity  #coronavirus  #fightcoronavirus  #staysafeeveryone  #takeout  #keepsafe  #socialdistancing #fightcovid19 #loveunitycommunity

Questions on Unemployment

We know that there is a minefield of options and considerations when determining whether to cut hours, issue layoffs and more. Know that SWBA is here to help answer your questions. Add a forum question below, or call or email us at 612-823-3472 or Unemployment FAQs can be found at

Guaranteed Internet Access

Comcast has announced free access to Minneapolis hot spots and free essential internet access to new customers to help everyone stay connected. Learn more at


SBA Loans

Minnesota's small businesses are now eligible for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and can apply for a loan on SBA's website.

  • Low-interest loans of up to $2 million 
  • Use to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills 
  • Interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses, 2.75% for non-profits
  • Repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years. 

Forms to fill out FIRST

Here's a list of documents you'll need to provide to complete the application. 

Preparing these documents before you go to will save you time and streamline the process.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The SBA highly recommends you complete your application online, rather than mailing it in. 

More Info on Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
  • These loans are only intended as working capital loans utilized to assist with impact caused by the coronavirus emergency efforts.
  • Loan applications will be evaluated by SBA loan officers. Criteria includes:
    • Credit history acceptable to the SBA
    • Repayment abilities
    • Eligibility - business must be headquartered in a declared state and suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster (not a general downturn in business due to the economy or other reasons).

    For more on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit and sign up for updates as they become available at

    Forbes Compiles Funding Sources for Small Businesses

    Forbes Magazine has pulled together a comprehensive list of government and private/nonprofit companies that have loans or grants available to small businesses impacted by COVID19. They're updating this list as additional sources become available.

      Forbes Funding Sources

      MN DEED Loans
      Authorized to Issue 0% Forgivable Loans

      • Range from $2,500 to $35,000 and be based on firms economic injury and financial need
      • Be Interest Free
      • Paid back monthly over 5 years, with first payment deferred 6 months with potential partial forgiveness
      • Only available to Minnesota-based businesses 

      To Qualify:

      • Must be able to demonstrate direct and adverse impact by the conditions that precipitated the emergency declaration in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08
      • Be current on financial obligations as of March 1, 2020
      • Be existing small business operating in MN for at least 1 year
      • Willing to provide collateral or personal guarantee for at least 20% of the loan
      • Been denied credit by a lender and sought or be in process of seeking an SBA EIDL assistance loan.
      • Pay-off the emergency loan if financing is received from alternate sources subsequent to loan approval.

      Learn More and Apply for MN DEED Loans

      Facebook Small Business Grants

      Facebook has announced that they will spend $30 Million in Grant funding for small businesses. They are in the process of developing the program, and will be taking applications. We highly encourage all of you to visit the program page, and sign up for updates so that you'll be notified directly as soon as the program is available.

      Sick & Safe Time City Interpretation Regarding Pandemic

      An employee's accrued sick and safe time hours are legally protected for their use due to Coronavirus symptoms, testing or infection. Protection extends to the employee and the employee's care of a covered family member. Ordinance protection includes, but is not limited to:

      • Coronavirus screening;
      • Care or quarantine due to Coronavirus symptoms or infection;  
      • Testing or quarantine following close personal contact with a Coronavirus infected or symptomatic person;
      • Covered family members' school or place-of-care closure due to Coronavirus; and
      • Workplace closure by order of a public official due to Coronavirus.

      Minneapolis Sick & Safe Time

      Copyright Southwest Business Association

      Southwest Business Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. Minnesota , P.O. Box 8932, Minneapolis, MN 55408

      Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software