State Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove says they expect to start accepting applications by week’s end for emergency small business loans authorized by Governor Tim Walz’s executive order. Grove says, “Half of all Minnesotans work for a small business, so this is a critical support line that we’re eager to get moving to bridge the gap that so many businesses here will face in the coming weeks.”
Small business impacted by the COVID pandemic can apply for emergency loans between 25-hundred and 35-thousand dollars. The loans will be no-interest and 50-percent forgivable. Businesses with questions about the emergency loan program should email ELP@state.mn.us.
Officials say in the past week there have been over 149 thousand applications for unemployment benefits in Minnesota, prompted by closures from the COVID-19 pandemic. A large majority — about 48 thousand — are workers in the food preparation industry, plus about 10 thousand each in salons, spas and the like… sales and service… and office and administrative workers. DEED Commissioner Grove says business closures are affecting women more than men. “We usually see female applicants come in at about 33 percent of the population who is applying for unemployment insurance, and that’s jumped to 63 percent, we think in large part due to the high share of female employment in the leisure-and-hospitality and personal services industries,” he says.
Grove says the age group with the largest number of unemployment applicants has shifted downward to the 22-to-29 age range.