COVID-19: We're here to help!
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 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.
In an effort to answer as many of our local business's questions as possible, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page
Local Business Survey
We urgently seek the input of our business community. Your feedback will determine how we can help businesses in our community mitigate the damage of this global market disruption, as well as strategies for recovery.
In collaboration with Bemidji State University Marketing Assistance and Research Solutions, we are gathering data to:
- Evaluate businesses being affected by COVID-19
- Determine the impact of the local economy
- Gather information and key views from the private sector in particular
- Ensure the private sector’s interest is clearly anchored in policy recommendations
If you are 18 years of age or older and voluntarily consent to participate in this study, please take 5 minutes and submit your responses.
Bemidji Area Take-Out and Delivery Options Amid COVID-19
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.
Executive Order 20-20 provides an exemption for workers who (1) work in Critical Sector and (2) cannot perform their work duties from home. Click here to determine whether an employee qualifies for this Critical Sector worker exemption Find the full list of Minnesota Critical Businesses List here. Fill out this form to Request Clarification of…READ MORE >>
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted a waiver to CDL and CLP holders who have experienced issues with obtaining access to DMV offices and to medical examiners, many of whom are refusing to take appointments for DOT physicals due to contamination concerns. The waiver extends the date of expiration – until June 30 –…READ MORE >>
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 on their website at SBA Disaster Loan Program. As small businesses consider applying for…READ MORE >>
In line with the state’s continued response to COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Revenue is granting a 30-day Sales and Use Tax grace period for businesses identified in Executive Order 20-04. During this time the department will not assess penalties or interest. Identified businesses with a monthly Sales and Use Tax payment due March 20, 2020,…READ MORE >>
The House and Senate gave final and unanimous approval to a package of assistance for hospitals and health care facilities as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation provides up to $200 million in assistance to cover uncompensated expenses, purchase COVID-19 related equipment and address staffing issues. Unused funds will revert to the general…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 (email@example.com) and phone 218-444-3541