Minneapolis, St. Paul announce plans to help residents, businesses affected by COVID-19

Families and small businesses are feeling the impact of the coronavirus and cities are trying to find ways to help.

Especially if you live or own a business in Minneapolis or St. Paul, more help is on the way.

In addition to the $1,200 checks most Americans will receive as part of the federal economic stimulus package, both Minneapolis and St. Paul are hoping to offer additional financial help to residents and businesses affected by COVID-19.

In St. Paul, the City Council unanimously approved the St. Paul Bridge Fund, which would give families $1,000 in emergency cash for rent or mortgage payments as long as they make less than $40,000 a year for a family of four, have at least one minor child living at home and have lost income because of the coronavirus.

The fund will also offer $7,500 grants for small businesses that had to close because of the Governor’s stay-at-home order.

The money can be used for immediate business expenses like rent and mortgage payments, employee health benefits and payments to suppliers.

“There is no corner of our city that is untouched by COVID-19, but we know the economic burden of the pandemic will hit some harder than others,” said Mayor Melvin Carter.

Across the river in Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted out a video announcing his city’s plans to help residents and businesses affected by the pandemic.

Frey says the plan will include emergency rental assistance for families, relief funding for businesses, using assistance programs to help companies facing a state of emergency and looking at zero interest or delayed principal loans to help those hit hardest by the pandemic.

St. Paul approved its plan Wednesday night and hopes to start the application process next Wednesday, while Minneapolis leaders will officially announce their plan Friday.

“There are a lot of options out there and we want to make sure we are being as flexible as possible,” Frey said. “Especially during this crisis.”