COVID-19: We're here to help!
We're in this Together
Like so many of you, the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce is closely monitoring the updates on COVID-19. As our business community faces increasing challenges associated with the virus, the Chamber is working diligently to collect feedback, inform you of new developments, and provide ongoing support. In addition to working closely with our Bemidji Alliance partners including Greater Bemidji, Visit Bemidji, and the Bemidji Downtown Alliance, we are in direct connection with the MN Chamber, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Association to advocate for business, legislation and relief efforts.
Businesses are the heartbeat of our community and we will support you through this tumultuous time. As resources become available, we will communicate that information as quickly as possible and post it here.
The Path to Reopening - Create your Safety Plan Now
Our area businesses have done an amazing job at keeping our community members safe in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As businesses open, it is important to have an effective Preparedness Plan in place for your staff and customers. We encourage our members to reference the Sanford Health Business Toolkit as well as the resources below to create and implement plans.
COVID Resources and Suppliers
Are you in need of supplies for COVID in regards to COVID-19? Here is a list of Chamber members who have critical supplies available for purchase. This information was compiled by the Bemidji Area Chamber and is updated as we receive information. If you are a company that can be added as a supplier for any of these products, please email us here.
One outcome of your feedback has been helping local businesses by creating, maintaining, and monitoring the Facebook group Bemidji Area Take-Out and Delivery Options Amid COVID-19. If you are a business offering take-out and delivery options, we encourage you to join this group to promote your services and availability. We invite the public to join as well and encourage them to support you by ordering from your establishment.
SBA Administrator Guzman Announces Application Opening for $28.6 Billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund
WASHINGTON – SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman today announced the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin registrations on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EDT and open applications on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon EDT for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted. “Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods…READ MORE >>
Did you receive a forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loan? Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers may be eligible for loan forgiveness if the funds were used for eligible payroll costs, payments on business mortgage interest payments, rent, or utilities during either the 8- or 24-week period after disbursement. Check out the SBA’s new factsheet highlighting the…READ MORE >>
Beltrami County announces a new grant program for non-profit organizations – Beltrami County COVID-19 Non-Profit Relief Fund. The funding is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding allocated to the County through directive of Governor Walz, who released $841 million of Federal CARES Act dollars to towns, cities, and…READ MORE >>
Effective today, the Minnesota Department of Health released updated guidance increasing the table size for restaurants and bars. The guidance includes the following specific points: Limits party size in dining rooms to 10 people. Limits party size in bar areas to 4 persons. Requires patrons in all areas to be seated. The change to parties…READ MORE >>
Beltrami County COVID-19 Business Relief Fund. The funding is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding allocated to the County through directive of Governor Walz, who released $841 million of Federal CARES Act dollars to towns, cities, and counties throughout Minnesota through Executive Order. Greater Bemidji, Inc. will be…READ MORE >>
Headwaters Regional Development Commission and Headwaters Regional Finance Corporation are pleased to announce the rollout of our new Covid-19 Relief Loan Fund. This program is the result of a $3.14 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration and funded by the CARES Act. The purpose is to help businesses that have been negatively impacted…READ MORE >>
Limited re-opening of dine-in restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues can begin on Wednesday, June 10. Occupancy rates will be limited based on risk, with an overall occupancy maximum of 250 people. All critical businesses are required to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan by June 29, and the Department of Health (MDH), Department of…READ MORE >>
When Minnesota bars and restaurants reopen June 1, seating will be limited to outdoors and no more than 50 patrons at a time to accommodate social distancing. To help local bars, restaurants, and cafes the Bemidji area, local partner agencies of the Bemidji Alliance, as well as the City of Bemidji officials, are working together…READ MORE >>
Bemidji Area Chamber Operations
The Chamber leadership team has also been meeting to establish a protocol to keep our staff, Chamber members, and the general public safe and to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while carrying out our mission: To serve our members and advocate for our business community. The following changes have been made in response to information from health experts, our current protocols, the Governor's recommendations, and our commitment to our community:
- Allowing Executive Director, Abby Randall to telecommute until April 13th.
- Canceling all ambassador visits, programming, and networking events for March.
- Changing meetings to Zoom or phone conferencing when possible.
- Regularly cleaning all surfaces in our office.
Abby remains available to Chamber members by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and phone 218-444-3541