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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.

Sanford Health Business Toolkit

Resources to Reopen Your Business

Local Initiatives

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.

Gifts of Hope Fund

Support homegrown businesses, neighbors & our community! The Gifts of Hope Fund was established to help local businesses and families that are in critical need due to the impact of COVID-19. Support our community by sponsoring, promoting, or purchasing gift certificates from our area businesses!

Recent News

Gradual Re-Opening of Indoor Dining, Gyms, Entertainment Venues: June 10th

June 8, 2020

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…


Expanded Patio Space Permit

May 27, 2020

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…


Beltrami County Passes Property Tax Abatement for Small Business

May 11, 2020

Beltrami county commissioners recently passed board resolution #20-05-14 to provide small businesses and self-employed individuals with a property tax liability of $200,000 or less the opportunity to apply for the abatement of the first half of 2020 property tax penalty. Small businesses suffering because of the COVID-19 Emergency are eligible for an abatement of penalty…


Reopen Bemidji, Responsibly

May 7, 2020

Bemidji, MN – May 4, 2020 While the effects of COVID-19 are directly impacting all of us, our local business community is particularly being hit the hardest. For many of our Bemidji area business owners, the inability to open their doors and serve our community has severely limited not only their livelihood, but it is…


Governor Walz announced Emergency Executive Order 20-20 Directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home

March 26, 2020

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…


FMCSA has granted a waiver to CDL and CLP holders

March 24, 2020

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 –…


SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Now Available in Minnesota

March 21, 2020

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…


Sales Tax Payment Extension

March 19, 2020

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,…


$200 Million Bill Passed for Health Care Providers

March 17, 2020

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…


In an effort to answer as many of our local business's questions as possible, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page

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 ( and phone 218-444-3541