The Minnesota Retailers Association is ready to work with the Governor and local, state, and federal elected officials on important next steps. Our success in defeating COVID-19 and restoring Minnesota’s economy depends on balancing public health & economic health.
Our plan includes:
Phase I - IMMEDIATE
- Make all organizations impacted by COVID-19 eligible for the State DEED Emergency Loan Program. Immediate eligibility should be extended to all impacted businesses as thousands more organizations have been impacted by the pandemic. Access to this bridge loan is critical while awaiting federal relief. State action required. DONE!
- Delay May 15 business property tax payments 60 days and assist impacted local governments. Delaying the property tax payment for retailers and businesses broadly impacted by COVID-19 will result in immediate relief for property owners, create more flexibility for renters, and reduce reliance on loans. State or county action required DONE! Nearly half of MN counties enacted reflief or delayed payments.
- Extend and increase funds for the Federal Paycheck Protection Program to allow more access to this critical relief fund during any sustained economic slowdown. Federal action required. DONE!
Phase 2 - SHORT TERM – when supported by public health decisions
- Open up curbside shopping and delivery so main street retailers in every Minnesota community can generate some cash flow similar to restaurants and essential businesses today. This allows businesses to meet the needs of their customers, appropriately protect and care for their customers and workers, and begin important best practice safety preparations in anticipation of reopening. State action required. DONE, opened May 4.
- Take action to expand widespread COVID-19 antibody testing and tracing critical to getting Minnesotans back to work. Testing for emergency workers and including retail workers in grocery, pharmacy and other high public contact positions should be prioritized. State action required. DONE!.
Phase 3 - MID-TERM – when supported by public health decisions
- Let stores reopen to consumers under social distancing store best practices including steps to protect workers and customers similar to what essential businesses are doing today. Best practices include social distancing reminders and markings as well as controlling store flow and occupancy. State action required. DONE, open May 18!
- Return customers’ access to businesses under a new normal with post-pandemic shifts in operations based on lessons learned. State action required. Undone.
>> Click here for a PDF version of this plan.
Minnesota retailers deemed non-essential and closed under Govenor Walz's stay at home Executive Order are turning their attention to their communities. At the Minnesota Retailers Association we have fielded many calls from retailers asking what they can do to make things better, including calls from clothing retailers with idle tailors.
With fewer suits to alter, clothiers are putting their fabrics and skilled workers on the task of responding to the desperate shortage of masks for healthcare workers.
“Sales losses due to COVID-19 have hit us hard, resulting in me temporarily closing our Minneapolis men’s apparel store that has been around since 1916,” says Hubert White’s president and CEO Robert White. “As we anxiously await reopening, our tailoring staff has volunteered to make masks with some perfect fabric we have at the store. With the mask shortages we are hearing about, this is something we can put our skills to work on and make a difference in the pandemic fight. I am proud that this is how our team is responding during this very difficult time for our business and all of Minnesota.”
Here is how retailers can help with the face mask shortage:
A critical need for personal protective equipment--such as masks--has surfaced over the last couple of weeks. To make the masks that provides the proper protection, your need a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-compliant pattern, available here from Sew Good Goods. Masks can be made in two different sizes: 9”x6” adult and 7.5”x 5” child. The instructions call for a tightly woven 100% cotton fabric for the front of the mask and tightly woven 100% cotton flannel for the back.
BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota has outlined the locations and the process for dripping off masks 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. through April 5. They ask than when donating masks at one of 14 locations, look for a “mask donation” sign and please stay in your car. A staff member will come to receive your donation.
- Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis
- Abbott Northwestern Hospital – West Health, Plymouth
- Buffalo Hospital, Buffalo
- Cambridge Medical Center, Cambridge
- District One Hospital, Faribault
- Mercy Hospital – Mercy Campus, Coon Rapids
- Mercy Hospital – Unity Campus, Fridley
- New Ulm Medical Center, New Ulm
- Owatonna Hospital, Owatonna
- Regina Medical Center, Hastings
- River Falls Area Hospital, River Falls, WI
- St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Shakopee
- United Hospital, St. Paul
- Courage Kenny Rehabilitation, Golden Valley
What You Need To Know For Curbside & Delivery Service Beginning May 4
On April 30 Governor Walz released Executive Order 20-48, which allows retail establishments to begin curbside and delivery services starting Monday, May 4. According to the Administration allowing curbside and delivery services will allow 30,000 Minnesotans get back to work. Here's what you need to know.
In allowing curbside pick-up and delivery, the Governor put out these guidelines:
- All customer facing retail establishments are eligible for delivery/pick-up starting Monday
- This includes but is not limited to: household goods rentals, maintenance services, repair services, pet grooming, and more.
- Every business must develop and post a plan for how to open safely; click here for a template
- Post the plan in the most practical place possible so employees and customers can see it.
- Contact-less payment should be used in every possible scenario
- Employees and customers should wear masks and protective equipment
- In curbside pick-up, social distancing guidelines apply. Customers should not leave your car if possible
- You cannot allow customers into retail stores or the business premises.
- In delivery, items should be deposited outside a customer's residence
For more information on guidance on re-opening businesses click here.
See below for MnRA's best practices for delivery and curbside services.
Retailers across Minnesota are implementing impressive measures to make shopping as safe as possible for customers & employees
To assist retailers, here is a collection of social distancing best practices for curbside and delivery:
- Contactless payment
- Social distancing at curbside pickup and delivery:
- Social distancing and enhanced cleaning in the store when fulfilling orders
- Use of face covering when social distancing isn’t possible
- Clear signage and communication between the retailer and customer.
MnRA was pleased to join the Governor for the announcement of opening curbside and delivery across the state. This step is important as laid out in our Critical Next Steps plan
. We recognize this is only a short term step and will continue to work with the Governor on re-opening retail stores to customers