Business Updates & Resources
At the March 23 meeting, City Council declared a peacetime emergency in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this official action will impact City operations in some ways, the City plans to maintain open channels of communication with our business community during these challenging times.
Any changes to city policies will be reassessed at or near the end dates. Extensions to changes will be communicated via the Business Connection newsletter.
If you have questions about business services provided by the city or the updates below, please reach out the Paul Bolin, Assistant Executive Director, by email or phone at 763-572-3591, or Scott Hickok, Community Development Director, by email or phone at 763-572-3590.
Stay up-to-date on business-related news from the City of Fridley by subscribing to the Fridley Business Connection e-newsletter.
Temporary Outdoor Dining Areas for Restaurants
In recognition of the difficulties facing restaurant owners during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Fridley City Council has temporarily suspended the typical approval processes for restaurants to add outdoor dining areas. Rather than the usual 60-day approval process for outdoor space, restaurants can complete a Temporary Outdoor Dining Registration Form and submit it to the City.
All spaces added via this process are considered temporary and must be removed by Nov. 15, 2020.
Restaurants must comply with all of the regulations on the Temporary Outdoor Dining Registration Form.
Alcohol Licenses Holders
Alcohol License Holders have additional requirements for fencing and insurance.They must complete the application, a certificate of liquor liability insurance and a site plan indicating where fencing will be located and how ingress/egress will be provided.
Applications can be submitted to Ryan George, Deputy Director - Police Division, by email.
Temporary Sign Policy Change
If you have a business in Fridley, the City has adjusted the temporary sign policy through August 31, 2020.
Typically, businesses are allowed two temporary sign permits per year for 14 days at a time with a permit fee of $100. The City has decided to implement a temporary policy that waives the permit fee for temporary signs and does not count towards your yearly signage allowance from now through April 30.
This temporary policy applies to all businesses in Fridley. Temporary signs installed during this period still need to meet the City requirements and be placed 10 feet from the property line. For additional information or questions, please contact Stacy Stromberg, Planning Manager at 763-572-3595 or by email.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Governor Walz has successfully lobbied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration from the SBA. As a result, Minnesota businesses are now able to apply for assistance online.
Highlights of the program include:
- Low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits
- Loans can go toward working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments that can’t be paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The current interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75 percent.
- These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.
Anoka County Regional Economic Development (ACRED)
ACRED has been working diligently to provide local businesses with an index of resources that may be useful during this time of crisis. A growing list of resources can be found on their website.
If you have questions about these resources, please contact Jacquel Hajder, Economic Development Specialist, by email.
Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
MN DEED also has a list of resources for the business community in response to COVID-19.
They will also soon be offering a small business emergency loan program. This program is a result of Executive Order 20-15 announced by Governor Walz on March 23, and many details of this pending initiative are still being finalized. Currently, there is preliminary information regarding eligibility and loan parameters available online.
Minnesota Chamber COVID-19 Resources for Businesses
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has provided a toolkit of resources and information for businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Resources are updated daily as new information becomes available. Some of the resources include:
- Webinar: COVID-19 Resources for Your Business
- Considerations for employers, employees
- Keeping workplaces safe and healthy
The Minneosta Chamber also has an online survey to take input from businesses about what they are doing in response to COVID-19 to better provide resources for all Minnesota businesses.
US Chamber COVID-19 Resources for Businesses
The US Chamber of Commerce has additional resources for businesses to protect their workforce from coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations. Resources include:
- Workplace tips (PDF)
- Interactive Workplace Flyer Builder
- Help for small businesses
- Communications toolkit
- CDC Guidance for Businesses
The US Chamber of Commerce also proposed three ideas to support businesses and workers, and to migitate job losses during this time. Learn about what the chamber asked of legislation.