Learn the Facts and How We're Prepared
At American Bank, the health and safety of our customers, employees and the communities we serve is our top priority. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are committed to being responsive to the needs of our customers and employees as the situation evolves.
Here, you’ll be able to find valuable resources, and we will be adding more as they become available.
How American Bank is Prepared
Because we care about the health and safety of our customers, employees and the communities we serve, we've taken steps to ensure we're prepared as the coronavirus situation progresses. We are continuously monitoring information from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
We have a business continuity plan in place to protect against significant disruption of business as a result of an unplanned event, such as Coronavirus. The program is fully integrated with our standard operational procedures to ensure critical business functions will go uninterrupted and is optimally maintained through regular testing.
We are continuously monitoring our staffing levels throughout the bank to prevent any disruptions in service due to health reasons. Remote work is available to employees as needed and we ask employees to stay home if they or a family member are not feeling well.
We are also taking precautionary sanitation measures, such as regularly wiping down desks and other surfaces throughout the day, to help prevent the spread of germs.
A Letter from Our CEO to Our Business Customers
Small Business Disaster Relief
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Minnesota small businesses and private nonprofits are now eligible to apply for SBA disaster loans. Applicants apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program.
The SBA is not affiliated with American Bank. The products and services provide by the SBA are not affiliated with American Bank. American Bank Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
Following Executive Order 20-15, DEED has established a loan program to assist small businesses directly and adversely affected and whose industry is named in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 following the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are a vital part of Minnesota’s economy and this program will provide a source of working capital to help businesses sustain operations during this challenging time.
Businesses should apply directly through a certified lender. A list of lenders and application materials are available on the MN Government DEED website. Nonprofits are not eligible for this program.
**Current loan requests have exceeded funding availability.**
Please visit the MN Government DEED site regularly to learn if the legislature has made additional loan funds available.
DEED is not affiliated with American Bank. The products and services provide by DEED are not affiliated with American Bank. American Bank Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.
The US Chamber of Commerce has issued a guide to help businesses understand the new employee retention tax credit that was passed as part of the CARES Act stimulus package. The program provides a tax credit for businesses who keep their employees on the payroll from March 12, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Here are a few key points we noted in the Employee Retention Tax Credit Guide.
- Eligible businesses must have had their operations partially or fully suspended by a governmental authority due to COVID-19 OR experience a decline in gross receipts by at least 50% compared to the same quarter in 2019.
- You may not claim both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and this tax credit. You may also not collect this credit if you are also collected the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
- The tax credit is for 50% of the first $10,000 in compensation (including employer paid health care benefits) for EACH eligible employee. You cannot count wages paid that the business was reimbursed for through the sick or family leave provisions of the FFCRA.
- Employee eligibility will vary for employers with more than 100 employees versus 100 or fewer employees. Employers with 100 or fewer employees can claim the credit for all employees, even when only some are providing a service partially or fully suspending by the government. The employer must still meet the eligibility requirement of having partially or fully suspended services or having a 50%+ reduction in gross receipts compared to 2019.
The office of Senator Tina Smith has published a helpful, 4-page overview on the CARES Act.
City of Hibbing and HEDA
Hibbing Economic Development Authority (HEDA) has taken action to help businesses in response to COVID-19. Effective April 1, 2020, HEDA is deferring collection of HEDA loans from local businesses for six months through September 30, 2020. Businesses with loans through HEDA will not need to make a payment until October 1, 2020. This action does not change these loans into a grant, and loan payment schedules will resume as normal on October 1st.
Upcoming Small Business Grant Opportunity
The US Chamber of Commerce has launched a grant program for small businesses in distressed communities impacted by COVID-19. Applications will open at 2pm on Monday, April 20th. Grants are listed as being for $5,000 for businesses who employ between 3 and 20 employees, and the application will take around 10 minutes to complete. You’ll need your W-9 form to apply. Click here to sign up for a notification on when the applications open and to learn more about the program
Small Business Relief Fund
The Entrepreneur Fund, Northland Foundation, and The Northspan Group, Inc. have announced they will be accepting grant applications for a second round of funding from the Small Business Relief Fund. Thanks to generous support from the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (IRRR), this second round will enable the three partners to support businesses across IRRR’s Taconite Assistance Area (TAA). Additional support from Enbridge Energy for the original round will help more business owners facing significant financial challenges resulting from the pandemic.
The second round will open for applications on Tuesday, May 12 at 8:00AM and close the SAME DAY, Tuesday, May 12 at 8:00PM. This second round uses a simplified application form to lessen burdens on business owners.
The grant guidelines are available now for review and preparation, here: http://info.entrepreneurfund.org/relieffund---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Because the situation is constantly evolving, it can be difficult to know where to find the most reliable sources of information. At American Bank, we rely on sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization.
It’s important to be sure you’re receiving information about Coronavirus from reliable sources of information to help prevent the spread of misinformation about the evolving situation.
Bank Wherever You Are
We offer convenient ways for customers to bank wherever they are. If you want to avoid public places or can’t make it to the drive-thru, you can use our Online Banking and eMobile Banking. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our free Online and eMobile Banking make it easy to view balances, make loan payments, transfer funds and more – no matter where you are. When you use our mobile app, you can even deposit checks conveniently and securely any time (Please note: we are waiving the $1 deposit fee until our lobbies are open again). We also offer ePay, so you can avoid making the trip to your local post office to send a check in the mail.
Frequently Asked Questions for Bank Customers
Stay at Home Order - The Basics
On April 8, 2020 Governor Walz extended the Executive Order 20-20 requiring individuals to “stay at home” until Monday, May 18th, 2020. The Stay at Home Order is meant to slow the number of COVID-19 cases in an effort to keep our healthcare system functioning through this crisis. A stay at home order directs Minnesotans to limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs. Minnesotans may leave their homes to pick up essential items such as groceries or food, prescriptions, and gas, to relocate for safety reasons, or go to work if their job is deemed essential in a sector. If you leave your home, practice social distancing measures and keep six feet between you and those around you. Everyone is encouraged to stay active outside during this time, provided they practice safe social distancing.
Permissible activities during the stay at home order include:
- Health and safety activities, such as obtaining emergency services or medical supplies
- Outdoor activities, such as walking pets, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing
- Necessary Supplies and Services, such as getting groceries, gasoline, or carry-out
- Essential and interstate travel, such as returning to home from outside this state
- Care of others, such as caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household
- Displacement, such as moving between emergency or homeless shelters if you are without a home
- Relocation to ensure safety, such as relocating to a different location if your home has been unsafe due to domestic violence, sanitation, or essential operations reasons
- Tribal Activities & Lands, such as activities by members within the boundaries of their tribal reservations
Orders Related to Bars, Restaurants, and Other
Places of Public Accommodation
Social Guidelines Effective May 18th, 2020
- Wearing masks and face coverings in public is still strongly encouraged.
- At-risk persons (those 65 or older, living in a nursing home or long-term care facility, those of any age with underlying health conditions) are strongly urged to stay home except for essential activities.
- Unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged. Minnesotans are encouraged to stay close to home.
- Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. This prohibition includes planned and spontaneous gatherings, public and private gatherings, and indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- Prohibited gatherings do not include commercial activity by workers and customers of Critical and Non-Critical Businesses.
- To enable safe congregation of more than 10 people, drive-in gatherings are permitted, provided that all participants remain within their own vehicles and follow guidelines provided by MDH and available at MDH’s website.
- Guidance on outdoor recreation and activities can be found on the DNR’s website.
- Minnesotans must respect the efforts of employers or businesses to protect the safety of their workers and customers by complying with those businesses’ social distancing and hygiene instructions. Employers must post social distancing and hygiene instructions at entrances and in locations that can be easily seen by customers and visitors.
Beware of Scammers
Tips to Avoid Coronavirus Scams Social Distancing from COVID-19 Robocall Scams Grandparent Scam Avoid SSA Scams During COVID-19 IRS COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments Scams Increased Phishing Fraud Attempts on Credit & Debit Cards COVID-19 Scams: 10 Tips for the Elderly
Economic Impact Payments
If you don’t file taxes, use the "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" application to provide simple information so you can get your payment.
You should use this application if:
- You did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income. Or
- You weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons. Or
- You have not filed your 2019 taxes.
If you receive these benefits, we already have your information and you will receive $1,200. Do not use this application if you receive:
- Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits
- Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits
Special note: People in these groups who have qualifying children under age 17 can use this application to claim the $500 payment per child.
Track Your Economic Impact Payment
Returning to Work Safely - Best Practices
Non-Critical Retail Business Curbside Pickup and Delivery: What Does that Mean?
Retail stores and other businesses that sell, rent, maintain and repair goods that can be picked up outside, without entering the place of business and with limited interaction between employees and customers. Services like household goods rental, maintenance services, repair services and pet grooming are included. Other services are not. Salons and barbershops may do retail sales via outdoor pickup and delivery, but not provide services. In order to provide delivery, the business must have provided delivery services previously to the pandemic.
Effective May 4th, Customer-facing retail businesses that sell goods are permitted to engage in curbside or outside pick-up and delivery as long as they:
- Do not permit customers to enter the business premises.
- Have created a COVID-19 preparedness plan that follows MDH and CDC guidelines and meets OSHA standards.
- Are following the health and safety protocols outlined in EO 20-48, including conducting health screenings of workers.
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Retail - Customer controls and protections for drop-off, pick-up and delivery
- Customers must pre-order goods or pre-arrange the maintenance or repair of goods or pet grooming services before traveling to the business.
- Customers must not be permitted to enter the business premises.
- Timing of outdoor drop-off, pick-up and delivery should be pre-arranged and arrival at the drop-off, pick-up or delivery location should be communicated through voice, text or email messaging.
- Contactless payment should be used whenever possible. If contactless payment is not possible, payment should be made in a manner that allows for at least six feet of distance between the worker and customer.
- Order verification should also be made using means that allow for at least six feet of distance or a complete barrier between the worker and customer.
- Workers should wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including non-medical face coverings.
- Drop-off, pick-up or delivery of goods should be made using means that allow for at least six feet of distance between the worker and customer.
- Customers should be asked to wear face coverings.
- Drop-off and pick-up locations should allow for six feet of social distance between customers.
Resources for Retail Businesses
- Best Practices for Curbside Delivery – MN Retailers Association
- Best Practices for In-Store & Appointment Shopping – MN Retailers Association
- MNOSHA Compliance: COVID-19 – MN Dept. of Labor and Industry
- COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices – Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
- Pre-recorded Webinar: Returning to work in customer-facing workplaces – Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Required COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
- COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Template, Instructions, and Checklist – MN Dept. of Labor and Industry
- Frequently Asked Questions on EO-48 and Returning to Work – DEED
Employee Health Screenings
- No-Touch Thermometers for Minnesota Businesses – Target in partnership with DEED
- MN Symptom Screener Daily Employee Health Screening Tool – MN Safety Council in partnership with DEED and Target
- Visitor and Employee Health Screening Checklist – Minnesota Dept. of Health
Support Our Small Businesses
At American Bank we’re committed to being here for our communities. In times like these we all come together to help each other and at American Bank we feel now is the time to help those essential small businesses in our communities that are open to help them get the word out. Over the course of the next three Sunday’s (April 12th - 26th) we will be sponsoring full page advertising for essential small businesses to help spread the word that they are open for business! Click on the links below for a full listing of open restaurants.
Emergency Child Care Grant Program
- Licensed family child care will be eligible for $1,000 grants
- Licensed center-based care will be eligible for $3,000 grants
- Providers must be located within one of the following counties or Native Nations: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis County, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe-District 1, or Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe-District 2.
- We intend to provide a response and funding within two weeks of applications being received.
- Funding will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis to qualifying applicants for as long as grant dollars are available.
If you have specific questions about the application process, please contact Northland Foundation Grants Manager, Carol Chipman by email at email@example.com.
3/31/20: The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations created an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide immediate financial support to licensed child care providers in Greater Minnesota. Learn more
Other Helpful Resources
- If you’re a business or a worker who has general questions about how COVID-10 affects business, consult DEED COVID-19 Information page.
- If you want to know what state government has to offer businesses so far, check out Helping Minnesota Businesses during COVID-19.
- If you’re a business or a worker who has questions about how unemployment insurance works, consult our Unemployment Insurance FAQs.
- If you’re going to apply for unemployment benefits, APPLY ONLINE. Phone lines are jammed and have long wait times. www.uimn.org
- For information on delaying your sales and use tax payments see the MN Dept of Revenue Sales and Use Tax page.
- For information on the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or family leave related to COVID-19, visit the Department of Labor website.
- To apply for health insurance through the MNsure marketplace or learn more about who qualifies for the new open enrollment period through April 21st, Click Here.
- To view daily updates of the number of confirmed cases at a county level, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.
Coronavirus Response: How to Help
From FEMA: Everyone has a role to play in the whole community fight against COVID-19. Learn how to help if you are a company with medical supplies to donate or sell, a volunteer who is medically trained, or a member of the general public.