COVID-19 Support for Businesses and Organizations
Last updated: April 1, 2021
Businesses and organizations like yours help make up the heart of our downtown and the city of Rochester as a whole. In response to COVID-19, your business may be experiencing unexpected challenges. We at the Rochester Downtown Alliance are committed to providing as much support and timely updates as possible.
Get updates on laws and policies
- March 10, 2021 - Governor Tim Walz announced in executive order 21-11 a positive turning of the dial measures to allow for loosening of COVID-19 restrictions. Find more details in the executive order here as it related to bars/restaurants, social gatherings, gyms, fitness centers, and pools, and remote working.
- July 24, 2020 - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signs executive order 20-81 requiring people to wear a face covering while in any indoor public space. Click here for an FAQ document regarding face masking in Rochester.
- June 22, 2020 - The City of Rochester's practice of providing curbside parking spaces for businesses has been scaled back due to the enforcement of parking meters resuming and the creation of outdoor dining spaces. Contact Public Works for more information.
- May 27, 2020 - Downtown parking ordinances will be reinstated June 1. Suspended contracts wishing to reinstate their monthly parking access should contact Reef Parking at email@example.com.
- May 26, 2020 - The City of Rochester signed a local emergency order to allow bars and restaurants to add or expand outdoor seating.
- March 26, 2020 - Liquor license payment deferrals available to businesses affected by COVID-19.
Find local business coaching
The following organizations offer guidance on government relief programs, continuity, or other issues related to COVID-19:
- Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) - Free or low-cost business mentoring and training
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - No cost business small business consulting
- Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) - Advice for employers on unemployment programs, and City COVID-19 Emergency Loan administration.
- Get one-on-one consultation with local ecosystem builders through the Entrepreneurs 1st Office Hours.
- Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce (RACC) - Helpful webinars and information to understand state and national government COVID-19 responses.
- BrandHoot - Offering nonprofits free 30- to 60-minute virtual working sessions for technical assistance.
- Collider Coworking - Entrepreneurs to reach out to talk through COVID-19 related challenges.
- Project Bootstrap - Local experts are providing businesses with free in-depth consulting in marketing and communications, visual merchandising, business continuity and risk management, user experience design and architecture, web and IT, culinary director and restaurant operations, and business and product development. Must be within Destination Medical Center boundaries to apply. With questions, contact Chris Schad, Director of Business Development – Discovery Square, Destination Medical Center, Phone: 507-216-9720 (o), 507-269-4954 (m), firstname.lastname@example.org
Seek local, state, and federal assistance
- Rochester, Minnesota assistance programs and resources
- December 14, 2020 - The City of Rochester approved a grant for businesses with liquor licenses to cover 100 percent of their on-sale 2020 license fees. Additionally, the 2021 liquor license fee payments will be deferred until August 1, 2021.
- June 22, 2020 - Rochester Ready is an initiative to ensure a safe and resilient recovery. Businesses that sign the pledge are committing to implementing a specific set of measures to provide a safe experience.
- June 10, 2020 - City of Rochester information hotline available for your COVID-19 questions with updated hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday: Call 507‐328‐2822
- May 11, 2020 - Olmsted County Public Health is offering to be a resource to the Rochester business community and is providing recommendations for business and public safety in this letter to the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.
- April 21, 2020 - Olmsted County Board of Commissioners approved a one-time temporary abatement of the penalty and interest for late property tax payments
- March 26, 2020 - Liquor license payment deferrals and contract parking suspension options available to businesses affected by COVID-19
- March 18, 2020 - The City of Rochester is allowing restaurants offering take-out options to designate up to two parking spaces in front of their businesses for customers. Contact Public Works for more information.
- March 16, 2020 - City of Rochester approval of funding for lessening the direct and immediate impact of COVID-19
- Rochester's Nonprofit Consortium is coordinating joint efforts to quickly respond to community needs. If your nonprofit organization, or a population you represent, is experiencing extraordinary challenges due to COVID-19, contact email@example.com to be connected to the group.
- State of Minnesota business and employee resources
- Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) COVID-19 Information and Resources
- May 20, 2020 - Guidance on safely reopening Minnesota businesses from MN DEED
- Federal business resources
- The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides additional COVID-19 relief to individuals and businesses. Among the relief targeted at businesses is aid for restaurants, shuttered venues, and other small businesses.
- Coronavirus.gov Business and Employer Resources - Federal recommendations on business operations during COVID-19
- US Small Business Association responses – Information for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 that includes federal loans and recommendations for managing a business in challenging times.
Keep yourself and employees safe and informed
Stay up to date from the following credible, official sources so you can respond quickly to changes that could affect you, your employees, and/or your customers.
- Olmsted County Public Health
- Mayo Clinic News Network
- City of Rochester – Ongoing news releases and updates
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Chamber guide to healthy habits – Background on COVID-19 and best practices to stay healthy and deal with employee diagnosis
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guide for workplaces – Specific to federal standards for preventing spread in workplaces
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) travel advisories – Ongoing updates on travel advisories within the United States and abroad
We are here for you when you need us. RDA is keeping our business listings updated weekly. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with updates. Find the listings on these pages:
For how to support the downtown community and city further, visit this blog here.