Dear Members,

The executive team of the Grand Avenue Business Association had a virtual meeting this morning to discuss the impact and what we as an association can do during the current economic and healthcare environment. 

I preface this with a reminder that NONE of us have the playbook for these times. But I am confident that the combined intelligence, grit, and concern for the welfare of our fellow businesses will carry us through these days.

The easiest way to share information is to use the GABA Members Facebook page. You can find the page at You will need to answer a series of questions to verify you are an active member. When you go there, request to be a member, and we will get you in. There are already some discussions that have started. We hope you use this as an opportunity to ask questions of each other and share good ideas.



1. As you share your hours of operation, new practices, sales, and other information for your customers, we want to be aware of what is happening.

2. Please tag the GABA page by typing @Grand Avenue in your post.

3. We will be encouraging people to support our businesses through the purchase of gift cards, on-line presence, and take-out food. 


Grand Old Day

1. Grand Old Day is scheduled for June 7th, 2020, just under 12 weeks away. I look at the developments of the last seven days with amazement at how quickly the world can change. None of us can accurately predict what will happen over the next 12 weeks.

2. We are moving forward with planning, garnering sponsorships, vendors, entertainment, and all other aspects of Grand Old Day

3. We are also working on a contingency plan. I have tasked a small group to look at alternate dates later in the summer.

Mayor Carter declared a state of emergency on 3/15/20. Follow this link to see the closures, permits and other information.

Below is an email from the MetroIBA. It is a useful resource and worth the read.

Some of our businesses will be affected much harder than others. We all need to support each other in whatever way we can. Please share any ideas that you have.


Bob Lawrence


Message from Mike Brown – MetroIBA

Hello all,

I hoping you are coping well with trying to slow the spread of COVID-19.  As you probably heard, Governor Walz has closed all schools in the state of Minnesota for 8 school-days beginning Wednesday (3/18).  Schools have the discretion to close earlier.  A couple other items of note from the announcement today:

  • The state will put pieces in place to explore online learning if closure continues beyond the 8 days
  • Schools should continue to pay all employees (including hourly) during this time
  • DEED is monitoring federal legislation to replace worker lost pay and has encouraged the Minnesota Legislature to modify its sick leave and unemployment policies to reflect the reality of COVID-19.
  • DEED Commissioner Grove asked all employers to be flexible and as accommodating as possible to employees impacted.


There has been a variety of information on how to prepare and react to the pandemic.  Here are a few I found most useful for our members:

  • Encourage sick employees, contractors and temps to stay home.
  • Ensure sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and employees are aware of them.
  • Separate sick employees from others as much as possible.
  • Emphasize good cough/sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene.
  • Ask employees to notify management when family members get sick and then manage the employee appropriately (with no stigma).
  • Perform frequent environmental cleaning.
  • Involve employees in the development and reviewing of plans.
  • Encourage flexible workspace, telecommuting and flexible hours when possible.
  • Plan for interruptions to your supply chain.
  • Create a communication chain to update employees and partners quickly.
  • Reduce non-essential business
  • Over-communicate with staff and customers.


Attached is a list of cleaning products that have been approved by  the Center for Biocide Chemistries to clean viral agents.  These may come in handy if you are unable to access your preferred cleaning products.


The Small Business Administration is making emergency funds available for small businesses that experience temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.  Loans are available at rates between 2.75%-3.75%. Additional information  available at website or email  Local representatives Twila Kennedy and Sarah Swenty would also be good resources.


Finally there are a myriad of website and pages with information available here are a few to peruse depending on how much time you have:


CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
CDC  Reducing Stigma due to COVID-19

CDC Key Facts about COVID -19

CDC COVID-19 Key Facts

MDH Coronavirus Disease 2019

MDH COVID-19 Information for Businesses and Employers

City of Minnesota COVID-19 Resources

City of St. Paul/Ramsey Council COVID-19 Resources

National Retail Federation Resources for Retailers

US Department of Labor Guidance


Please use this email forum ( to ask questions, share information and share tips.  We are in this together and connecting here may be helpful.

Let us know how you are doing.

Mike Brown
Executive Director