After Hours at Elks Tonight
After Hours at Elks Tonight
Advancing the Prosperity of our Member Businesses and the Vitality of the Area.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021

$5.3M in Requests for County Grants; Program has $715K

Steele County Economic Relief Grants program is facing enormous requests from business and non-profits in the county. 
The deadline for application was Feb. 12th. According to Steele County Administrator Scott Golberg, the county received 165 applications requesting over $5.3M in funding. The county has $715,000 to disburse. They expect to have decisions made and funds out by early March.

This highlights the major impact to businesses during the Covid-19 closures and need for additional support to them.

PPP tax conformity at the State level would be a small, simple way to start (see next article).

PPP Tax Relief Making Progress, Emails Still Needed

The House Taxes Committee held a hearing last week on federal conformity including full conformity with PPP loans. 
The Senate has expressed interest in moving an early bill to adopt federal conformity on PPP loans but Minnesota’s state constitution requires tax bills to originate in the House.

The MN Chamber reports more than 100,000 Minnesota businesses participated in the PPP loan program. Without this change, many small and mid-sized businesses – already struggling due to revenue losses – will face further tax burdens. It is critical to conform to federal tax law as soon as possible in the 2021 session as the final tax payment is due March 15.

Please continue to contact your representatives to urge them to conform to federal PPP tax loan forgiveness and allow deductibility of expenses on Minnesota income tax returns.  Click the image to join businesses across the state in advocating conformity.

It's Back, After Hours Tonight at the Elks

Business After Hours is back in person this evening (2/23) at the Elks Club.  Join the Chamber along with co-host Premier Home Solutions and Elks Club B.P.O.E. #1395 starting at 5:30 pm TONIGHT at Elks Club, 126 E Vine ST-Owatonna.  Bring a door prize to market your business!
There is still time to secure opening for May 2021.  Contact Rhonda Guthier, if you are interested!

Chamber Week at the Capitol Announced

Chamber week at the Capitol will be happening virtually next week, March 1 - 4, 2021.  During this week, legislative virtual calls will take place with our elected officials starting with Senator John Jasinski on Monday, March 1st at 3:00 pm.  If you are interested in being on the call, please register by clicking HERE.  This virtual zoom call is free and open to all members who would like updates on the session.  There will be time for Q & A at the end of the call.   
A similar virtual call is being scheduled with Representative John Petersburg and will be announced soon.  Check our Chamber events page for any updates or additional meetings.   

Benedictine Living Community - Owatonna-Sincerity in Action

“Sincerity in Action” is how Benedictine Living Community – Owatonna defines their efforts to provide a quality living community. Formerly known as Koda Living Community, Benedictine Living Community - Owatonna is known to provide compassionate healthcare services to senior members of the Owatonna community. Since 2013, they have been supporting local seniors and their families with both short-and long-term senior health needs.  Read full blog story HERE.

Owatonna's Entrepreneurial Culture Featured

Videos highlighting Owatonna's Entreprenurial culture aired on line during National Entreprenuer Week (you can watch them here).  The program, coordinated through the Owatonna Area business Development Center (OABDC), features Chad Lange, Owatonna Canning Company; Bill Owens, Director of the OABDC; Wendell Engelstad, SCORE; Tim Penny, Southern MN Initiative Foundation; and a panel discussing Owatonna's entrepreneurial roots.

2021 Explore Minnesota Tourism Virtual Conference is FREE and Open to EVERYONE!

Taking place over two mornings from 8:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. CST on March 2-3, here are the top five reasons to register and virtually attend this year's Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference:
  • It's FREE
  • Hear from nationally renowned speakers in marketing, communications, destination development and leadership. They will share industry trends and insights along with fresh and actionable ideas you can implement now for your community or business.
  • Even though this year's conference is completely virtual, you can still represent your brand on Wednesday's Destination Day. Wear your organization/community branded apparel, upload a photo and be seen on-screen during the conference.
  • Show off your Minnesota trivia knowledge during Monday's break for a chance to win some great prizes courtesy of Mall of America.
  • Register for the conference to receive a $25 discount for Mall of America's newest attraction. 
50 Words for $50
Feature a special offer, an upcoming event or company information--but it must be 50 words.  The cost to participate is $50 per week.  

Community Bank Owatonna PPP Loan Program

Community Bank Owatonna is participating in the SBA PPP loan program for small businesses.  No matter where you bank, we are willing to help!  Visit our website at for more information and application forms, or call us at (507) 455-2265 and ask for Steve, Jeff, or Tim.  Member FDIC.
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