COVID-19 recovery timeline

See a timeline of our support and recovery efforts during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Recovery effort history

Jan. - March 2020

Public health emergency and actions

On March 16, 2020, the Mayor declares a local public health emergency due to COVID-19.

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.

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).

Apr. - June 2020

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.
    See dashboard
  • $3 million in rent and utility payments for low-income renters. We support more than 1,600 households.

Unemployment funding

Starting this month, people in Minneapolis file more than 144,000 unemployment insurance claims in 2020. 

Workers receive:

  • 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. 

Hygiene stations

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.

Mask regulation

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.  

The Mayor:

  • 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.  

July - Sept. 2020

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. 

Oct. - Dec. 2020

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.

Read the amendment

Jan. - June 2021

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 

Read the report

Homeowner and renter support

For homeowners:

Additional Foreclosure prevention counseling support provided to Minnesota Homeownership Center and network of providers related to COVID-19 pandemic.

For renters:

  • 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.
July - Sept. 2021

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.

See City budget revision

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.

See legislative file

Oct. - Dec. 2021

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

See Inclusive Economic Recovery Work Group

Jobs training awards

CPED awards $100,000 in Green Jobs Pathways training using federal COVID-19 recovery dollars.

Jan. 2022

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
Apr. - August 2022

Guaranteed Basic Income Program

CPED launches:

A pilot for the Guaranteed Basic Income Program for 200 households

See Guaranteed Basic Income Program

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.

See the council action

Sept. - Dec. 2022

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.

Contact us

Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED)


Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415