COVID-19 business support

Updated 1-8-2021
We’re here to help businesses during this difficult time. Please call one of our Business Advisors at 1-800-288-3425. We’ll listen to your challenges and help you figure out a plan to get through this.

Along with our standard options for assisting small businesses, some new programs that could be helpful to you were designed in response to COVID-19. We are available to help you determine if one of these programs is right for you.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Program overview:
This program is administered through a partnership with banks and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The goal of this program is to help businesses retain employees, get through this time, and get back to business.

Important notes:
On December 27, 2020, it was announced that there will be a new round of forgivable PPP loans for qualified businesses.  View our Q&A on second-draw PPP loans that provides more information on your business’ eligibility and the application process.

PPP loan forgiveness process:
If your business previously received a first-round PPP loan through Think, you must apply for PPP loan forgiveness.

If your PPP loan totaled $50,000 or less, use this two-page forgiveness application that does not require calculations to be submitted with your application.

If your PPP loan totaled more than $50,000, you are required to use a Standard or EZ Form (Form 3508EZ). The EZ form for loans of  more than $50,000 requires less documentation and fewer calculations than the Standard form, giving many borrowers with fairly straightforward cases an easier path to having their debt eliminated. The EZ Form (Form 3508EZ) applies if you meet any one of these three criteria:

  1.  You applied for the PPP loan as self-employed, an independent contractor or a sole proprietor with no employees.


  2. You did not reduce salary or wages for any employee by more than 25% and did not reduce the number or hours of your employees.

    You will be granted an exception if a laid-off employee declines an offer to return.


  3. You did not reduce salary or wages for any employee by more than 25% and your company experienced reductions in business activity because of shutdown orders or as a result of health directives related to COVID-19.

    This provision allows borrowers to simply state they were unable to operate “at the same level of business activity” they had before the crisis because of government requirements or safety guidelines, including social distancing rules.
If your business meets any of the above three criteria, you can have your loans fully forgiven if you meet the program’s other rules. Borrowers with more complicated cases who are not able to use the EZ form will still need to fill out the standard, lengthier loan forgiveness application. Please talk to your Think Business Advisor if you have questions. 

Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

Program overview:
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has created a Small Business Loan Guarantee Program to help Minnesota small business owners who need immediate assistance during COVID-19 closures.

Who can apply:
Any Minnesota business with less that the equivalent of 250 employees statewide.

Loan uses:
Equipment purchases, maintenance, or repair; Minnesota moving expenses; and working capital when the working capital is secured by fixed assets when possible.  All uses must be exclusively for Minnesota operations.

Rates and terms:
Rates and terms vary based on the business and loan purpose.

Loan amounts/limits:
Amounts and limits vary based on the business and loan purpose.

More information can be found here