COVID-19 Business Resources

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Update: 12/22/2020

This week Congress passed a new, $900 billion coronavirus relief package that offers sweeping investments in a large number of business and consumer programs -- including some of the following with direct impacts on Minnesota’s clean energy business community: 

Tax Credits:

  • Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been extended for two years. 

    • Remains at 26 percent for projects that begin construction in 2021 and 2022.

    • 22 percent in 2023.

    • 10 percent in 2024 for commercial projects (residential ends completely in 2024).

  • Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) have been extended for one year; for land-based wind, it has been extended one year at 60 percent of a project's full value.

  • Tax credits for energy efficient homes have been extended; up to $2,000 for new energy efficient homes through 2021.

  • Section 179D, the Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction has been made permanent. It had been set to expire at the end of 2020. 

Clean energy investments:

  •  $1.7 billion in weatherization assistance program funds (renewable energy installations are now considered a weatherization measure).

  • $1.08 billion for energy storage technologies. Types of storage include short-term, long-term, seasonal, transportation energy storage. 

  • $2.36 billion for smart grid/advanced grid technology. 

  • Research and Development investment includes the following:  $1.5 billion for solar,  $625 million for wind. Also R&D for advanced nuclear, carbon capture and storage, carbon removal and more. 

  • $2.6 billion for Department of Energy’s sustainable transportation program. 

  • $2.9 billion for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), an important and successful energy R&D and commercialization effort that President Trump sought to eliminate.

  • $11 billion for nuclear energy.

Small business loans:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) extended. The new guidelines are limited to borrowers with 300 or fewer employees who can show the pandemic impacted their revenue. Additional stipulations and qualifications include: 

    • Loans are forgivable

    • Second-time applicants and forgivable expenses will differ from the first round of PPP assistance

      • Second-time PPP borrowers will generally be eligible to borrow an amount equal to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs. 

      • A notable exception: Applicants in the accommodation and food services industries, as designated by the Small Business Administration, are eligible for loans that amount to 3.5 times their average monthly payroll.

    • At least 60 percent of PPP must go to payroll, the other 40 percent on eligible costs.

    • MN Department of Revenue sending Business Relief Payments to eligible businesses - see criteria, unlikely to apply to clean energy businesses.


Update 8/4/2020

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

State of Minnesota

While there is much uncertainty at this time due to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, there are also a large number of informational resources and assistance programs being put forward. We will be using this page to share information relevant to our business members and colleagues. Please reach out to our team if we can be of further assistance or if you have suggestions on resources we should add to this page.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation flyers:

MN Department of Health COVID-19 Information for Businesses and Employers:

MN DEED Information and Resources for Employers including updated information on U.S. Small Business Administration loans, sales tax grace period, workplace health and safety and if you need to reduce workers’ hours:

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has information about disaster loans, which are now open to Minnesota businesses:

TriNet two-part blog posts on How Small and Medium Size Businesses Can Prepare for the Impact of COVID-19: Part 1 and Part 2

Additionally, there are many resources shared for both employers and individuals in this COVID-19 State Resource Document.