Walz says relief package is coming for Minnesota small businesses

Walz is prepared to call a special session and pass the package immediately.
Governor Tim Walz

Minnesota small businesses impacted by the current partial shutdown could be receiving some relief with new legislation that Gov. Tim Walz says will be released as soon as Tuesday. 

"The package that we're going to be putting out tomorrow – that we prepared along with cooperation from the Legislature – I am prepared to call them back into special session and pass this package immediately," said Walz during a Monday press conference. 

Among the items in the legislation, according to Walz: 

  • Sales tax forgivenesses for businesses that sell food and beverages.
  • Waive state regulatory fees.
  • Exploring direct relief for workers.
  • One time food grants for businesses to provide food to healthcare workers, homeless shelters and long-term care facilities. 
  • State tax credit for food donations in the hospitality industry.
  • Elimination of the COVID-19 Fund expiration date. 

"There's no deal done yet," said Walz. "It appears to be very bipartisan. The desire to get help to small businesses is very strong."

He reiterated that point multiple times during his press conference: "I'm getting every indication that there's a desire to get something done. I'm trying to leave that space for the legislature to partner in this," said Walz.

Despite these comments, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-E. Gull Lake) say they have not received word from the governor as to his proposals.

“House Republicans have been working since last week on solutions to help businesses impacted by the governor’s latest shutdown," Daudt said. "We hope the governor will work with the legislature, but have yet to hear from him on what he is proposing for a potential special session.”

Details beyond what Walz mentioned above have not been released. It's unclear what processes business owners will have to follow in order to be eligible for the relief, nor is it clear what exactly "exploring direct relief for workers" means. 

There has yet to be a second federal stimulus package to help businesses and workers who are suffering due to mandatory closures and subsequent layoffs. During the spring and summer, laid-off workers were eligible for an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits and a one-off $1,200 payment, but that stimulus expired and no further relief has been provided. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Walz said the state would do what it can within its limited means (as state budgets have been hit hard by the pandemic) to help businesses, but that the best hope of significant help lies with Congress passing a stimulus bill.

The current four-week partial shutdown is set to expire Dec. 18, though a hard end to the executive order isn't guaranteed and will be dependent on numerous data points around the spread of COVID-19 and hospital capacity.

The latest executive order bans dine-in service at bars and restaurants, wedding receptions, social gatherings with anyone not in your immediate household, and also places restrictions on other forms of entertainment. 

Next Up

Joel Eriksson Ek

Eriksson Ek's hat trick completes Wild's rally over Jets

A late review helped the Wild win their home opener.

Screen Shot 2021-10-19 at 8.11.35 PM

Watch: Marcus Foligno starts fight with a superman punch

Foligno was not messing around in the first period.

Union Gospel Mission graffiti side by side - Duluth PD

Vandals target longstanding Duluth soup kitchen, transitional housing site

Union Gospel Mission has been operating in the city since 1922.

i-94 crash st. michael - 2021.10.19

At least 1 dead after 'serious crash' on I-94 in St. Michael

That side of the highway is expected to be closed for at least a few hours.

House for sale

The crazy Twin Cities housing market is showing signs of slowing down

Agents are seeing fewer multiple offers and no inspections are less prevalent.

Ben Simmons

Simmons' reunion with 76ers lasts mere days, chance for Wolves?

Woj says the Sixers remain "steadfast" in their plans for Simmons.

mitchell ottinger

Sub teacher involved in 'sextortion' of more than 10 minors pleads guilty

Some of the minors he knew from the school district where he worked.

flickr ice castles new brighton 2020 - Greg Gjerdingen

The Ice Castles, a winter favorite, are coming back to the Twin Cities

The popular attraction was canceled last winter due to COVID.

joey meatballs

4 new vendors coming to Rosedale's POTLUCK food hall

Three restaurants and a VR company are opening soon.

flickr - Lorie Shaull - Line 3 pipeline Palisade July 2021

Enbridge misses deadline to fix its groundwater blunder

The company had 30 days to stop the leak it caused by not following its submitted plans.

wikimedia commons - the beach boys 2019 - joergens.mi

Beach Boys bringing 2021 holiday tour to Minnesota

The iconic band's "Holiday Harmonies" tour stops at Treasure Island just before the new year.


Uptown, coronavirus

Uptown small businesses: 'We are losing everything we have worked for'

The small businesses are rallying together with hopes of receiving financial support.


COVID-19: Here's what Gov. Walz, Republicans are proposing to help businesses

Once they come to an agreement, Walz will call a special session to pass the legislation.

Life Time

Life Time encourages members to lobby Walz over COVID-19 measures

The CEO says it could end up temporarily laying off 4,000 workers.

covid-19, coronavirus

Walz indicates more COVID-19 restrictions could be on the way

More targeted mandates are likely on the way, according to Walz.