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river heights chamber of commerce

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is here for you.  We will post the latest updates, community resources and business webinars from our partners to this page. Chamber meeting/event cancelations will be posted on our calendar of events page. Please check back often. Stay well!

Latest updates:

March 26, 2020:

  • WEBINAR: DEED Answers Your Questions on the “Stay at Home” Executive Order – We want to help you understand what this order means for your business.  Chamber President Doug Loon hosted a webinar with Commissioner Steve Grove of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to answer your questions on the “stay at home” order.  Watch here

March 25, 2020:

March 24, 2020:

  • WEBINAR: Small Business Economic Recovery and Financing Resources – Recorded Monday, March 23, by Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – Watch here

March 23, 2020:

  • Following Governor’s Executive Order 20-15, DEED has established a loan program to assist small businesses affected by Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more about the program Small Business Emergency Loans here
  • Open Business Community Map – Add Your Business to the Map here
  • How to Support Small Businesses During a Crisis here

March 21, 2020:

  • Small Business Disaster Loan Assistance here
  • New Resources Available in the Business Tool Kit here

March 19, 2020:

March 18, 2020:

  1. Minnesota Department of Revenue: https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/our-response-covid-19
    Information relative to taxes.
  2. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Toolkit: https://www.mnchamber.com/blog/covid-19-business-toolkit
    Thanks to the Minnesota Chamber, all businesses including to non-members can access this resource.
  3. Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/
    A plethora of information for employers and job seekers. Unemployment info is here as well as info about “shared work” which is a way to avert lay-offs.
  4. Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry: https://www.dli.mn.gov/updates Info relative to the trades, license exams, and workers compensation.
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
    Planning guides.
  6. U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus Workplace safety; wages, hours and leave; and more
  7. U.S. Small Business Administration: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
    The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

March 17, 2020:

March 16, 2020:

  • Dakota County Commissioner Atkins reported:
    As of 1:00pm today (3/16/20), there have five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dakota County. Our public health and risk management teams are working closely with state and federal agencies to slow the spread, provide advice to the public, and plan for and take necessary next steps. Dakota County administrative offices, libraries and parks remain open, though events and programming have been severely curtailed or canceled altogether. I have pasted helpful links below for the areas of county government about which I am getting the most frequent COVID-19 questions:
  • Dakota County generally: Click here
  • Dakota County libraries: Click here
  • Dakota County parks: Click here
  • Dakota County courts: Click here
  • Pursuant to Gov. Walz’s emergency order, efforts are underway to conduct county board and Dakota County CDA meetings through alternative means that are mindful of public health directives regarding large gatherings.
  • Additional details about the current status of board and committee meetings will be available here as meeting dates approach, and here for Dakota County CDA meetings.
  • Comcast Announces Comprehensive COVID-19 Response to Help Keep Americans Connected to the Internet
  • Neighbors, Inc – COVID-19 Plan
  • 360 Communities – COVID-19 Response
  • City of Inver Grove Heights – COVID-19
  • City of South St. Paul

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce would like to add our voice to the messages you are likely receiving that our staff, members and community’s health and safety are our #1 priority. We continue to monitor the daily changes with the global health pandemic of COVID-19, the Coronavirus, and are working with a fluid plan to protect our staff and members while continuing to operate.

Currently, the River Heights Chamber is open for business and moving to a “Work Distancing” model with limited staff each day and the elimination of group meetings at the Chamber office. Out of an abundance of caution and respect to decisions of our business community, the River Heights Chamber will be suspending in-person meetings with groups larger than a few until March 30th, and practicing social distancing. This includes committee meetings, member events and public events, as well as the County-wide Business Breakfast on April 3. The March 19th Board meeting will be done as a virtual meeting. Meetings and events may be made virtual or rescheduled as possible in the days/weeks to come, so please watch your Chamber communications for updates.

The River Heights Chamber staff had the opportunity to be part of a webinar hosted by the MN Chamber in collaboration with the MN Hospital Association, a labor law expert from Stinson and the US Chamber of Commerce. We found the following information extremely helpful in preparing a plan. As we find ourselves faced with many important decisions during this global health pandemic with the Coronavirus, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce would like to offer some resources specifically for employers and employees.

Please utilize the links below for resources and tips. Our business community, members, staff and families are so important to us and we ask that you continue to communicate with us as we are in this together.

Keeping Your Workplace Safe & Healthy

Best practices to stay healthy, deal with employee diagnosis and set a plan.

Preparedness Tips

  • Urge employees to stay home when they are sick.
  • Maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits for those who are ill or encouraged to stay home.
  • Do not require a health care provider’s note to validate illness or return to work.
  • Identify critical functions of operation and develop a plan on how to cover those functions with increased staff absence.
  • Consider cross-training
  • Maximize telecommuting options
  • Ensure the staff that can work from home have the tools to do so.
  • Utilize options for virtual meeting: ZOOM or GO TO MEETING

If your business has larger quantities of essential staple items of dry food, cleaning/disinfecting/paper products to share with businesses in need or if your business is in need of certain items, please let us know!

March 15, 2020:

A message from River Heights Chamber Chairman Adam Bengtson:

River Heights Chamber Members,

On behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors and staff, I would like to share with you that we are here and committed to serving the needs of our members and our community throughout the COVID19 experience in our community.  We will work closely with our community partners, including the Cities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul, the Tri Districts and the MN Chamber of Commerce, and we will be providing regular updates including timely and reliable information, resources for you and your business and community information.  We feel it is important that we come together as a community at this time (while keeping social distance).

Out of an abundance of caution, the Chamber will be suspending in-person meetings with groups larger than a few until March 30th. This includes committee meetings, member events and public events.

  • Committees will receive cancellation notices for their meetings and they will receive staff summary reports to keep their efforts on track.
  • The City of South St. Paul is moving forward with the State of the City Update and Concord Street public hearing on Monday, March 16th.  It will be live and on demand on townsquare.tv.
  • Thursday, March 19th – the River Heights Board Meeting will be a virtual web meeting.
  • South St. Paul Local Issues scheduled for March 25th will also be an online update.  Instructions to listen and participate will be sent out along with the agenda late next week.
  • Birdi Golf Fundraiser for the Police Explorers program will be rescheduled for a later date.  You can still make a donation via PayPal to the Chamber and we will donate it to the Explorers program.

There are things we can do to help our small businesses in the community during this time.  Order meals and pick them up at a Chamber member place of business.  Order gift cards to use at later dates to help during this time of social distancing.

We want to support you! Do you have a current promotion or want to get the word out to Chamber members about something you are offering? Post a Hot Deal on the Chamber website for FREE:

Are you looking for COVID19 facts and resources for you and your business? the MN Chamber has put together a resource and information page:

Your business matters to us and we understand that there are many uncertainties for you and your business right now.  Please watch for future updates and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions, concerns or there are ways that we can better support your business at this time.