COVID-19 recovery timeline
Recovery effort history
Public health emergency and actions
On March 16, 2020, the Mayor declares a local public health emergency due to COVID-19. See declaration
On March 17, the Mayor orders the temporary closure of bars, restaurants and other places of public accommodation. The goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19. The declaration affects more than 1,700 businesses. See declaration
The Mayor also waives:
- Late fees for most City licensed businesses
- Suspended liquor license installment fees
Support for businesses
The City hosts open webinars for businesses. The goal is to keep the business community informed of new regulations and available resources. Hosting departments include:
- The Mayor’s office
- Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED)
- The Health Department
- Other City staff
Personal protective equipment distribution
The City takes direct action to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE).
Gap funding programs and small business support
CPED launches COVID-19 gap funding programs, including:
- $1.5 million in forgivable loans for small businesses. We award loans to 173 businesses.
- $3 million in rent and utility payments for low-income renters. We support more than 1,600 households.
Starting this month, people in Minneapolis file more than 144,000 unemployment insurance claims in 2020.
- State benefits
- Additional funding through the federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA).
PUA provided more than $25 million per week in aggregate income for city residents by the time the program ended in the summer of 2021.
CPED invests $500,000 in six community-based providers to assist those who lost jobs due to COVID-19 shutdowns and closures.
Grants for hospitality workers
We provide $100,000 in grants to laid off hospitality workers. CPED, in partnership with the Minneapolis Labor Foundation, awards grants to 500 people.
Small business support
CPED expands small business support services, including:
- Increased funding for the Business Technical Assistance Program (BTAP)
- Temporary staffing increases to the Small Business Team. Our goal is to help business owners navigate changing regulations and resources. Services include dedicated support for artists.
The Health Department provides more than 30 hygiene stations near encampments throughout the city. The goal is to ensure access to bathrooms and handwashing stations.
The Mayor issues a requirement to wear masks or other face coverings in indoor public locations.
More support for restaurant and bar businesses
On June 1, the State lifts closure orders. This change allowed for outdoor dining, but not indoor dining.
- Issues an order allowing for temporary outdoor expansions
- Relaxes zoning and licensing regulations to allow bars and restaurants to accommodate more outdoor dining
Reopening guides and webinars
CPED and the Health Department release:
- A reopening guide for restaurants
- Informational webinars in multiple languages
The goal is to help businesses navigate:
- COVID-19 related regulations
- New temporary expansion options
Free curbside pickup
Public Works implements free curbside pickup zones for restaurants and other retail businesses. The goal is to provide short term curbside parking for customers.
Mask deliveries and bar spacing
CPED staff deliver boxes of masks to businesses citywide.
On July 29, the Mayor issues an order about spacing of patrons at bars.
Housing support and legal services
The City Council approves $1.2 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) funding to expand housing stabilization and legal services through Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid.
Racial equity efforts for homeownership
The City changes Minneapolis Homes program guidelines to:
- Increase down payment assistance and affordable homeownership financing program participation from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) residents
- Increase wealth building efforts
- Reduce racial disparities in homeownership
Fee limits for third-party food delivery
The City Council adopts a new ordinance to impose fee limits and other rules for third-party food delivery platforms and services.
Restaurant and bar closures
The State of Minnesota orders restaurants and bars closed for in-person dining, limiting services to take-out only.
Increased shelter flexibility
The City Council adopts an amendment to the Emergency Shelter ordinance to provide greater flexibility for shelters to operate.
Indoor dining resumes
The State of Minnesota allows indoor dining to resume at limited capacity.
Response and recovery report
CPED presents a response and recovery report on behalf of multiple departments to the City Council detailing the 2020 activities and supports related to the pandemic and civil unrest
Homeowner and renter support
Additional Foreclosure prevention counseling support provided to Minnesota Homeownership Center and network of providers related to COVID-19 pandemic.
- The City Council approves the creation of two rent assistance programs totaling near $12.9 million in funding. These programs became known as the Zero Balance Project and RentHelpMN (Minneapolis).
See the council action
- In April, the RentHelpMN program launches. The City, Hennepin County, and the State of Minnesota partnered to develop a one-stop rent and utility assistance application portal to streamline the process for Minneapolis residents. The City hires community-based organization to help renters and their landlords navigate the application process and undertake the review and funding of applications.
- The Zero Balance Project launches. Created through a partnership with the City of Saint Paul and Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsey Counties, this regional rental assistance program works directly with landlords to provide rent assistance to their tenants who have fallen behind on rent payments. The regional partners hire a community-based organization to help landlords and renters navigate the program.
Budget for American Rescue Plan Act spending
On July 10, the City Council adopts a budget for the first round of American Rescue Plan Act spending.
Increased permanent housing options
On July 31, the City Council adopts an ordinance expanding allowable Single Room Occupancy housing. The goal is to increase permanent housing options for people experiencing homelessness.
Inclusive Economic Recovery Work Group
The Mayor forms the Inclusive Economic Recovery Work Group. The goal is to develop recommendations for equitable, inclusive economic recovery from the impacts of:
- The pandemic
- Civil unrest of 2020
Jobs training awards
CPED awards $100,000 in Green Jobs Pathways training using federal COVID-19 recovery dollars.
Emergency regulation for restaurants and bars
The Mayor issues an order that requires everyone entering a food or drink establishment to show proof of either:
- Full vaccination against COVID-19, or
- A negative COVID-19 test
Guaranteed Basic Income Program
A pilot for the Guaranteed Basic Income Program for 200 households
More employment support
- City invests $660,000 in rapid reemployment services at Summit Academy OIC.
- CPED invests $1 million in community workforce ambassadors, launched through 13 community-based employment service providers to provide outreach and to connect job seekers most disconnected from services and communities hardest hit by the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19.
Cultural District outreach
In June, CPED launches an outreach project to visit every business in the City’s cultural districts.
More rental assistance
City Council approves acceptance an additional $277,303 in emergency rental assistance funding from the U. S. Department of the Treasury. These funds are directed to continue to pay for rent and utility assistance through the RentHelpMN (Minneapolis) program.
Funding for Cultural Districts
CPED awards another $700,000 to provide more business technical assistance in Cultural Districts.
Co-op Creation Grant Fund
CPED launches the Co-op Creation Grant Fund.
See Coop Creation Grant Fund
More employment support
Employment and Training:
- Invests $1 million in curriculum development and technology to allow for youth in Minneapolis to access year-round work-readiness training.
- Awards $600,000 to six community-based partners to expand support services to Opportunity Youth experiencing barriers to stability brought on by COVID-19.
Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415