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COVID-19 Business Resources

Written by Vicki Oakes, MNbump Connector
Ortonville EDA & Big Stone Area Growth

NoteWhether local, state or federal assistance programs, you can call Big Stone Area Growth & Ortonville EDA for help/questions on forms, where to start, etc.  please call 320-839-6155

A few July 2nd updated resources for your view…

Transforming Workplaces for a COVID-19 world & beyond – Policies & Procedures, Communications, Controls & Operations
LINK to the Checklist

July 17th Webinar:  Join Taft Law for our upcoming webinar to learn of OSHA and CDC guidance outlining practical ways employers can protect their workplaces from potential health risks created by the coronavirus, and respond in the event of a coronavirus infection in the workplace and resulting workers’ compensation claims. — Registration LINK:

Running low on PPE funds?  This link provides a list of resources with a nice summary on each option:  LINK to Article

LINK to grant info & application deadline is Thursday, July 2nd:

More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic-cultural emphasis

The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards.

Here is a link to a SBA press release announcing revised forms and guidelines for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness:
Note that there is now an EZ form that almost all of our local businesses will qualify to use. It requires much less documentation and is a much shorter form!

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Loan Advance are once again open to all businesses. It had been closed for a time to all except agricultural producers and related businesses.

(Thank you to Vince Robinson of Big Stone Area Growth for updates! – call Vince at 507-530-1756 with any questions.)


6/16/2020.  Taft Law has provided a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Toolkit.  You’ll find resource links listed first.  Scroll down further for the topics of Business, Construction, Distressed Companies, Education, Employment, Entertainment, Environmental… further down for Health Care… Litigation, Privacy, and Data Security – and more.


Amid daily news about COVID-19, individuals and employers are seeking advice on preparing their businesses and leading employees through coronavirus-related implications.
Taft’s multi-disciplinary COVID-19 Toolkit addresses client questions and provides ongoing updates and analysis as the virus and its aftermath unfold.
You’ll see recently reported info links (with dates) first.  Scroll further down and you’ll find the staple links to all the agencies’ main COVID-19 assistance pages.

6/5/2020 Updates – Safely Returning to work – the New guidance documents.


Latest updates by category – Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening

Child Care Grant – Reminder, June 15, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Deadline

Whether or not a child care program received a grant in the previous rounds, they still need to complete a new application for Round Three. Grants are awarded based on priorities outlined in the legislation, NOT on a first-come-first-serve basis, so please take time to fill out the application carefully.

The deadline to apply is Monday, June 15, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Applicants will be notified of their grant award or denial by June 19, 2020 via the email address used in their application.

Recipients will receive their funding after the completion and return of final paperwork. Instructions for completing this step will be provided with the award notification.  LINK to information & application

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program – Signup runs from May 26 – August 28 (watch video below) – and following FarmersGov Facebook page (LINK)

5/18 Updated:  SBA and Treasury Release Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application.  (LINK to info & application)

the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.

The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.

Please complete this survey!
LINK:  Please complete the COVID-19 Impact Survey
We are seeking to understand how COVID-19 is impacting businesses throughout Big Stone County.  The information will be used to better support businesses and to inform the development of short and long term recovery resources.  Note:  Individual responses will be held in confidence and not disclosed other than in a summary report of all responses

The BEST resources for daily local announcements, stories…
KDIO 1350 AM – all the latest local news on-air & online!
and a subscription to our local newspapers Ortonville Independent & the Northern Star!

Ortonville Area Health Service

Prairie Five COVID-19 Update

Big Stone County COVID Info & Links

Minnesota COVID-19 Main Resource Page

Governor COVID-19 News Links

COVID-19 Dashboard:  Data on Minnesota Cases

Minnesota Department of Health


See resource links below – 

LOCAL ASSISTANCE:  $5,000 Emergency Loan Funds

24 month, zero percent interest, first payment due in 6 months.  Available through Big Stone Area Growth or the Ortonville EDA.  Link for Info & Forms

Looking at reopening or bringing remote employees back?  Here are some safety plan guidelines and sample templates to personalize for your use –

Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants

The Department of Human Services, Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, and Child Care Aware of Minnesota are working together to distribute funds appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature. The first round of Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants totaling $9.8 million was awarded on April 20. Applications for the second round are currently being accepted from Tuesday, May 5 through Tuesday, May 12 at 5:00 p.m. Find details at Child Care Aware. Whether or not a child care program received a grant in Round One, they still need to complete a new application for Round Two.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Thanks to a concerted effort by the state of Minnesota and the SBA to contain the economic impact of Coronavirus, the state’s small businesses are now eligible for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and can apply for a loan online

  • This program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
  • The current interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75%.
  • These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.
  • Need help filling out the application? Access these step-by-step instructions

Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program

Southwest Initiative Foundation is a Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program certified lender.

Following Executive Order 20-15, DEED has established a loan program to assist small businesses directly and adversely affected and whose industry is named in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 following the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are a vital part of Minnesota’s economy and this program will provide a source of working capital to help businesses sustain operations during this challenging time.

Find the application materials on DEED’s website. Nonprofits are not eligible for this program.

Loan Training for COVID-19 Related Economic Disruptions

Join a webinar to learn more about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, including program eligibility, use of proceeds, terms, filing requirements, additional small business resources. The SBA’s Minnesota District Office will be hosting these twice a day until demand is met. After registering you will receive the Skype webinar log in information.

Visit for webinar dates and information on other resources available to help small businesses during this challenging time.

Info from SBA, Partners and Sister Agencies

Southwest Initiative Foundation continues to share additional resources as they become available. This is not an all-inclusive list, and we will add resources as they become available.

Southwest Initiative Foundation 

  • Southwest Initiative Foundation is offering deferments for all current business loan clients. If you have questions about your SWIF loan, please connect with our team member you typically work with. You can also reach out to our Entrepreneurship Finance Specialist Selina Berning at (320) 583-0162

Local Partner Info

Federal Program Info

Below… NEW $5,000 Grant opportunity with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce



Business Resource Webinar – You’re Invited!

MNbump will be interviewing Vince Robinson of Big Stone Area Growth –

Wednesday, June 10th at 5:30 via Zoom Webinar

Your invite is below.  In a webinar format, the link below will provide you access to hear/view the interview live; however, you will not have video or audio (in case you were wondering!) – However, if you have questions during the interview, you can use the “raise hand” feature and your audio will be activated and you can ask your question or make comment.

We will also videotape this interview so if you are unable to join live, you will be able to view it at a later time.

If you have a question that you’d like asked during the interview, please email me at — also, if you have not completed our Business Impact Study, you can at this link: 

THANK YOU to those that have completed the survey!

Zoom Invitation:

Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jun 10, 2020 05:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Business Survey & Updates

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Password: resources

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699009128,,85206150967#,,1#,820230# or +12532158782,,85206150967#,,1#,820230#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799
Webinar ID: 852 0615 0967
Password: 820230
International numbers available:


Our Family Day Trips – Local over Memorial Day Weekend!

Enjoying the outdoors and staying close to home as requested due to COVID-19.  This is what #LoveWhereYouLive looks like… I ended the weekend with quite a checklist of places yet to walk & fish (all just waiting for another weekend!).  We could have covered more ground but we decided we really wanted to go back to the Big Stone State Park for another day.

Highlights from our weekend.  First… what a treasure we have in the Big Stone State Park (LINK:  Park website).  I called to make sure that we could pull our little camper down for day trips to use it as our home base from walks & fishing – and it was open for that – we were even welcome to park our camper in any of the spots (we tried out a different one each day) and have a fire in the pit if we wanted!  Other than the boat landing, we were the only ones in the park – amazing to explore in the privacy of our family group of 3!  We fished from all of the little paths to the water from the camping spots, the fishing pier and the boat landing dock – we caught very nice sized sunfish, bass, smaller perch, and in the evening a couple of walleye – all from shore!  Fun to see so many different kinds of birds – one “couple” of Baltimore Orioles seemed to be letting us know we’d invaded their life… and the deer coming down from the hills in the evening making their way to the lake seemed quite surprised to see us there!  What a wonderful place to be last weekend!

Click on photos for a larger view!

There was also some time for walking in the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge Auto Tour –

Walking the paths at the Bonanza Scientific and Natural Area –

A couple of places that we hit just before this weekend… nice fishing at the foot of Big Stone Lake right in town, Ortonville!

We were so busy Memorial Day weekend none of us even used the beautiful golf course right behind our house!  (18-hole municipal course check out their website for drone footage of the course & its views – LINK to  

It is with sincere sentiment when we add #LoveWhereYouLive to our posts on the MNbump Facebook posts!

And… I was able to video the Memorial Day Program in Ortonville on Monday morning.



Clinton Minnesota Celebrates Memorial Day 2020 Virtually

The City of Clinton, Minnesota has a long tradition of celebrating and honoring our military veterans who have passed away, not only those making the ultimate sacrifice dying for our county, but all of those who have served our country and have died.

Because of the pandemic of Covid19, we are unable to gather together to share our memories. The Campbell-Williams Post #258 of Clinton, Minnesota (with the help of Auxiliary member Janine Teske) has put together this Virtual Memorial Day Program.  We hope that this allows you the opportunity to reflect on our community and pay respect to those that have gone before us.

Welcome by Jim Teske –
       Commander, Campbell Williams American Legion Post #258

Video Tribute to the Departed Veterans –  Presentation of the Roll Call
Adjutant, Tom Nelson, Campbell Williams American Legion Post #258. 
Video prepared by Janine Teske on behalf of the American Legion.

Memorial Day 2020 Honored Speaker –
Joel Stattelman, Graduate of Clinton High School and Retired Principal of Ortonville Public Schools.

Raising of the Flag/Honor Guard/Gun Salute
Campbell Williams Post #258,
Sons of the American Legion Post,
     Clinton Legion Auxiliary

This section will be added after the live program on Monday, May 25, 2020 at the Clinton City Cemetery.

Poppy Sales by Junior Legion Auxiliary Members

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 9.31.24 AM



MNbump has just completed its fifth year online.  We reached out with a survey last year – and we are again asking for your input.  We would appreciate andy and all input – what you like about the website & Facebook page –  if there is something you don’t like –  or suggestions of any kind!  The survey will remain open for a couple of weeks – and then the MNbump team will review and evaluate as we plan for the future. The survey results along with the Team Plan will be submitted/presented at the next Big Stone Area Growth meeting.

A couple of Stats from MNbump (as of today, June 8th)

  • We’ve had 5,446 different visitors to our website this year
  • Our COVID-19 Business Resource page has been utilized 1,625 times
  • FacebookLast 28 days

so we are reaching and connecting with a large number of folks – this survey will help us to adjust our work to better fit the wants and needs of you, the residents of Big Stone County.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey!

LINK to survey:


Video How to Series: Find a Business on Our Website

Especially in this time of COVID-19 and the hard times for our local businesses, it is especially important to check local first when you are in need of something.  Many of our local business can order in – fast – items that they might not have on hand.   We created a short video to show you how to use the MNbump website to find a business or organization.  We strive to have every business and organization on this site.  If one is not listed, they should use the “Contact Us” tab on this website and let us know – you’ll be added.  If you’d like to share a preview photo for your business or feel you’d best fit in another (or more than one!) category – also use the Contact Us form so that we can make those changes!  Our goal is to make it very easy to connect locally!

Note:  We look to help our residents connect… and to help our businesses and organizations with their online reach – while marketing Big Stone County as a GREAT place to LIVE; however, a well-rounded marketing reach for businesses would include – 1350 AM KDIO & now also has 94.5 FM and the weekly newspapers, the Ortonville Independent & the Northern Star!

The first video below is Janine & Vicki giving an overview of how to search/find.

The second video below is a quick look at our Facebook stats to show that we have great reach and engagement – and we can be a great connection to assist you with your online marketing (which in turns helps us to get info to residents & advertise what an amazing place Big Stone County would be to live).

Return to Work, 4/23 Governor Release

Governor Tim Walz Emergency Executive Order 20-40  LINK:  EO-20-40-Final

A framework for safely returning to work

Today, Governor Tim Walz reviewed a framework for evaluating when it is safe to reopen a variety of workplace, social, and educational environments in Minnesota. That framework takes into consideration a number of health, economic, and social factors – and applies them to a variety of settings that have varying levels of predictability and size considerations.

As part of that framework, he issued Executive Order 20-40, which provides a limited first step in the process of safely returning to work, beginning only with workers at non-Critical Sector industrial, manufacturing and office-based businesses that are non-customer facing.

There are 2.6 million Minnesotans working right now. EO 20-40, developed in consultation with thousands of business leaders, labor leaders, and public health experts, will allow around 20,000 businesses and roughly 80,000 – 100,000 workers to go back to work beginning on Monday, April 27.

In order to reopen, EO 20-40 requires these business to do three things:

  1. Create and share with their employees a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that explains the actions they are taking to ensure social distancing and keep workers safe. The Department of Labor and Industry has created a template plan, which is optional for businesses to use as a starting point.
  2. Engage in health screening of employees each day at arrival
  3. Continue to use telework whenever possible

DEED will also be hosting two webinars on EO 20-40 with presenters who will talk through the process of returning workers in industrial and office-based business back to work. Join the conversation here at the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, April 23 from 4 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 24 from 11:30am – 12:30 p.m.

For now, the Stay at Home order remains in place through May 3, and we should all continue to limit travel to essential needs only. We have made progress on slowing the spread of COVID-19, and we need to continue to practice social distancing to save lives.

We are continuing to listen to feedback from businesses and workers about how to implement social distancing practices in their workplaces – and if you have ideas, we encourage you to submit them here.

For more information about EO 20-40, including what it means for businesses and workers and a number of FAQs and additional information, please visit We’ll continue to update that site with content and information you need to know.

LINK:  MNbump’s Business & Employee Resource Page

Zoom PRACTICE Meeting

Let’s get together on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. and have a practice “let’s get familiar with Zoom” meeting!  Janine and I will be hosting the “webinar” type Zoom meeting and you will join as an “attendee” – this is the same setup that the Ortonville City Council is using for the regular meetings and Public Hearings during this time of social distancing.

We will go over how you can raise your hand if you’d like to speak during the appropriate times during meetings & public hearings – by raising your hand… you’ll be brought into the meeting with your audio and you’ll be able to speak/discuss your points during the meeting and when you are done you will be placed back in the watch/listen “attendee” section of the Webinar style meeting.  When we bring you over, we can also work through any audio issues that you may have – or if you’d rather use the chat option to communicate you statement or questions.

Join us for a “just between friends” casual practice session on Zoom – and be prepared to be a “citizen to be heard” during these meetings.  #MNbumpTogetherwecandothis

And if you have trouble getting on – PLEASE – call my (Vicki) cell phone at 320-305-2434 and I’ll mute myself from the Zoom meeting and help you get on!  This is truly a casual one-to-one training so that you can stay involved in local meetings – and we want you to be very comfortable using this tool!

Here is the invite you’ll need to join the meeting:

Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Apr 23, 2020 04:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: MNbump PRACTICE Meeting

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Password: practice

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +13462487799,,82596225422#,,#,675266# or +16699009128,,82596225422#,,#,675266#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 825 9622 5422
Password: 675266
International numbers available:

A few video tutorials that might be helpful before Thursday!  🙂


Concert of Prayer

Tonight! 8:15 p.m. —  We encourage you to stay home, turn on your porch lights and tune into an evening of prayer provided by clergy from across Big Stone County (MNbump!) — it would also be great to see photos of your front lights flooding Facebook!

Ways to connect with tonight’s Concert of Prayer:

KDIO – 1350 on your AM dial or the audio will be streamed live from this LINK:

Zoom as an Attendee this is the #1 way to watch tonight’s Concert of Prayer!  The first 100 that sign-in to Zoom will be able to view direct (see instructions & Zoom link below in red)

Facebook Live.  We will also be streaming Zoom to Facebook Live; however, in the event that the connection fails either from the beginning or during the Prayer service, please have KDIO ready for backup so that you can hear the audio.  Do not play them at the same time, though – since there is a 20-second delay on the feed through to Facebook Live.  (In testing, Facebook Live worked the “majority” of times… )

Zoom Attendee Directions:
On a cell phone, you should have already downloaded the “Zoom” app from your app store to your phone.  You do not have to open the app first, just click the link below and you will be on as an attendee.

On a computer, click on the link below… if you have never downloaded Zoom to your computer, you’ll be asked to do that which only takes a few seconds.  You will then be on as an attendee

LINK Zoom:  (note… link will not be live until 8:15)

Music will be provided by:
Franky Koval & daughter Addison, Hope 
Julie French, LINK to Lyrics How Great Thou Art
Jon Rogers, LINK to Lyrics Because He Lives

Thank you to Mary Ross for an awesome idea!
Thank you to all the Clergy that made this happen,
Thank you to Franky, Jon & Julie for the music, and
Thank you to Julie French & KDIO for carrying the Concert of Prayer this evening!
AND, thank YOU to everyone that joined in out there!
#LoveWhereYouLive #BigStoneCountyStrong


Help Request – Need Access to Items? COVID-19

We have a local business looking to expand items/services during this time of Coronavirus “Stay at Home” requirement.  Please complete this short form and list the items/services that you having difficulty finding and you’d like better access.