- Business Resources & Support
- Park Updates & Rules
- City Services & Facilities
- Jobs & Employment Information
- Community Response Team
- News & Updates
City of Winona - Port Authority
The Port Authority of Winona, with partnerships with the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, WNB Financial, Merchants Bank and others, has launched a loan program for small local businesses disrupted or facing closure due to the pandemic.
The program provides loans up to $20,000. The program has so far provided nearly $200,000 to more than 25 businesses.
All loans are interest-free, with payments delayed until January 2021. For more information and to apply, follow this link.
Winona County CARES Act small-business grants
To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Winona County small businesses and non-profit organizations, the Winona County Board of Commissioners has approved emergency financial support through the Winona County CARES Small Business Assistance Grant Program that is targeted at qualified businesses and non-profits that are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to Stay at Home Orders.
The program will provide one-time grants of up to $10,000 to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue to these qualified organizations during this pandemic.
The Winona Area Chamber of Commerce is the facilitating organization in accepting and processing applications, as well as disbursing grant funds.
Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis through October 2 or until funds are depleted. Applications and guidelines can be viewed and submitted on the Chamber's website. You may also print the attached application here and bring it to the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce (902 E. 2nd Street, Suite 120) with all documentation during business hours (M-F, 8am-4pm).
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Chamber office at 507-452-2272.
State of Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has a growing list of resources for businesses on its website.
Note that many businesses are eligible for multiple programs simultaneously. Please check the details on the linked websites to learn more.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is offering a variety of resources to businesses affected by closure, cancellations and other challenges related to COVID-19. Here are the SBA's current programs and opportunities.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program, distributed through local lenders, is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.
The PPP is not active at this time. Visit the SBA's resource page on the PPP and keep up with news and updates.
Note: Almost all 501c-incorporated nonprofits qualify for the SBA loans listed above, and in most cases nonprofit interest rates are lower.
Otto Bremer Trust
The Otto Bremer Trust has created a $50 million emergency fund to support community organizations. The fund provides emergency funding, loans, lines of credit and other financial resources to organizations impacted by and responded to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The City of Winona and its Parks and Recreation department has been committed to keeping parks and public spaces open since the very first days of the pandemic.
While the city is doing everything it can to preserve access to public spaces, it is up to residents to practice safe and healthy behaviors to avoid the closure of areas or limiting of activities.
Here are general rules and guidelines for using parks and public spaces:
- Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others at all times (family units are okay closer together)
- No group sports or activities that require close contact - this includes basketball
- Playgrounds are as long as folks practice physical distancing
- Bring hand sanitizer, and wash your hands after using the parks
Lake Park/Lake Winona Paths
The paths around East and West Lake Winona are open and can be used in both directions.
- Slow down or speed up to maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet
- Joggers, consider stopping for 1 to 2 minutes and then starting again if you find yourself consistently close to another jogger
- Announce yourself ("On your left!") when passing
- Step aside into the grass when possible to allow families with strollers, those with walkers or in wheelchairs or scooters, and others to pass
- Respect others’ needs for physical distancing - when in doubt, give others even more room than you think is necessary
- If the portion of the East Lake Winona path adjacent to Lake Park Drive is crowded, consider moving to the road temporarily if you feel safer there
Dogs are not allowed on the East Lake Winona path, and must be leashed on the West Lake Winona path.
The trails remain open to all users - bikers, hikers, runners, walkers. Please use them as directed. Consider stepping off the trail to let other individuals or groups pass, or pausing or passing if you're near each other and heading in the same direction.
Group activities are welcome as long as safe practices are followed - wear a mask, no close contact, etc. Employees monitor park and outdoor space usage and may ask groups to stop if they don't appear to be following the guidelines. The higher risk the activity, the more cautious participants must be. Here are some examples:
- High risk: Basketball
- Medium risk: Soccer, volleyball
- Low risk: Disc golf
Playgrounds remain open but are not regularly sanitized. Make sure to bring sanitizer, and keep children physically distant from one another as much as possible.
The dog park remains open for regular hours and operations. Practice safe behavior, including physical distancing, or wearing a mask if you are near others.
The Winona City Council meets online using Zoom during its regularly scheduled times, the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 6:30 pm.
Folks who want to participate in a meeting can use the Zoom video platform (free to download and use) or call in using the details below.
Folks who want to watch the meetings can view them live on the Government Access Channel (Channel 19 on HBC and Channel 987 on Charter) and on the city’s website, and also on the city’s Facebook page. Meeting recordings are posted on the city’s YouTube channel. As with traditional council meetings, members of the public are allowed to speak only during certain times, like public hearings.
Meeting ID: 896 465 916
646-558-8656 (Backup - use only if you have issues with the above number)
- Only use one audio source; audio from computer is preferred if available.
- Be aware of background noise from your location.
- If using phone, do not use the speaker function. Please note that your phone number and/or name will be visible to other participants.
- If using a web cam, be aware of what is in your background.
- If you have headphones, please use them as that will limit background noise.
- Please mute your audio until you wish to speak. Then unmute your audio, and ask the Mayor for permission to talk.
City Hall is closed, but staff are available during regular business hours, 8 am to 4:30 pm, by phone and email. Find phone numbers and email addresses on the page of the department you would like to contact.
The police department is fully operational. The department is closed to the public to keep officers healthy.
The fire department is fully operational. The department is closed to the public to keep firefighters healthy.
All buses are fare-free through 2020. Riders are required to wear face masks or coverings and practice physical distancing. Buses are running on normal routes. Schedules have changed: Drivers have eliminated every third route in order to deep-clean the buses. View and download the revised schedule (PDF).
The library is closed but providing most services online or through curbside pickup and delivery. Patrons are encouraged to use the library’s website and online resources.
The Friendship Center is closed. Members are gathering online for activities and programs.
Parks & Recreation
Parks and outdoor spaces are open. Indoor facilities, including the East End Rec and Lake Park Lodge, are closed.
The water department is fully operational. The city’s water is safe. COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through water.
The wastewater treatment plant is fully operational. Please do not flush anything other than toilet paper.
The city is actively monitoring the levee and flood control infrastructure as usual.
COVID-19 has created significant challenges for local workers who may have been laid off, furloughed, or working reduced hours. The city is committed to sharing accurate, up-to-date information to help connect folks to critical resources during this time.
Minnesota Unemployment Benefits
Apply for unemployment benefits here, find contact info, and get answers to frequently asked questions.
You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if:
- You have temporarily or permanently lost your job or had your hours reduced because of COVID-19.
- You are a contract, freelance, or self-employed worker affected by COVID-19
- A healthcare professional or health authority recommended or ordered you to avoid contact with others due to COVID-19.
- You have been ordered not to come to their workplace due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
- You have received notification from a school district, daycare, or other childcare provider that either classes are canceled or your usual childcare is unavailable, as long as you made a reasonable effort to find other childcare and requested time off or other accommodation from your employer and no reasonable accommodation was available.
Additional Federal Unemployment Benefits
In September, Minnesota began providing an additional $300 a week in benefits to those who have applied and are receiving unemployment through the state Unemployment Insurance program.
If you are eligible for any unemployment benefit program, all you need to do is apply through Minnesota's system. You will automatically receive any additional compensation after you are approved, and each time you submit your weekly payment request. You do not need to apply to any additional programs or places.
Note that the $600/week in additional benefits ended in July, and Congress did not renew or extend the program.
Worker Rights & Protections During COVID-19
- COVID-19 worker protections
- Health and safety resources for businesses
- Payment for changes in hours, including overtime
- Work breaks and rest periods
- Minnesota OSHA inspections
- Filing workplace complaints
If you have questions or want to contact a Labor and Industry representative, visit this page for email and phone numbers.
- Minnesota Careerforce Center: Good general and statewide resources, advice, tips and best practices for navigating and seeking jobs during COVID-19.
- Winona Careerforce Center
- Address: 1250 Homer Road, Suite 200 (at Minnesota State Southeast, next to the main entrance
- Phone: 507-205-6060
- Email the Center
- Hours: Online and remote appointments only; call or email for details.
- Details: Part of a network of state-funded Centers that offer free one-on-one guidance, training, networking, labor market information and more to help individuals start, advance or change their career.
- Express Employment Professionals
- Address: 1600 Gilmore Avenue
- Complete an online contact form.
Details: Express Employment Professionals puts people to work in all types of jobs. Whether you’re looking for a short-term job to supplement your income or you’re building a new career, we offer the flexibility to work the way you want, and you’ll never pay a fee to Express for our services and support.
- Looking for essential workers? Express can help your business hire drivers, warehouse/forklift operators, machine operators, maintenance/janitorial/sanitation, and eCommerce/customer service workers. Email Mike Dieter for more information.
- Manpower Winona
- Address: 601 Huff Street
- Email Manpower Winona
- Details: You can count on Manpower to find qualified applicants to fill full-time and part-time job openings in Winona, MN. Experience the difference with our online job search, expert career specialists, and personalized job placement.
Winona Job Boards
The city's COVID-19 Community Response team documents and communicates the city and community's response to COVID-19, as well as designs plans for future recovery.
The collaborative team includes more than a dozen city employees representing all city departments, from parks to police, as well as community experts across industries.
The team researches strategies and best practices from communities around the state, country and world to bring the best approaches to Winona. The team is designed to respond nimbly and adapt to the rapidly changing environment the pandemic has created, including planning for future outbreaks.
Twitter: Follow @CityofWinona
Instagram: Follow @cityofwinona
- August 27: New efforts as COVID-19 cases mark largest single-day increase
- August 25: Housing assistance payments available for income-eligible residents
- August 11: Assistance for businesses, homeowners, renters
- August 5: University and College Presidents Discuss Fall Semester Plans
- July 21: Council affirms mask order, extends it through September 8
- July 18: Leap in COVID-19 cases reinforce need for masks, physical distancing
- July 14: Port restructures COVID-19 loans to continue supporting small businesses
- July 7: Mayor announces citywide mask order
- June 30: City launches "Wear One For Winona" mask campaign
- June 24: Polling place changes due to COVID-19
- June 23: New state grant lottery for businesses affected by COVID-19
- June 17: Updates on summer park/rec programs, facilities
- June 16: Council closes Aquatic Center due to COVID-19 risks
- June 9: Port emergency loans support more than 20 small businesses during COVID-19
- June 8: City, Winona Health begin proactive COVID-19 testing in public housing
- June 2: Council approves changes for businesses operating outdoors
- May 29: City asks residents to participate in contact tracing
- May 26: Garage sales now allowed in Winona; sellers must follow COVID-19 guidelines
- May 21: City working on bar, restaurant guidelines for June 1 outdoor dining
- May 18: City launches COVID-19 Community Response Team
- May 14: City continues to plan for safely opening facilities as StayHomeMN ends
- May 12: Fire department will give away homemade masks on May 16
- May 7: City working with Farmers Market on COVID-19 practices as it opens this Saturday
- May 7: Fire department to host two mask giveaway events
- May 5: Winona Transit goes fare-free through 2020
- May 1: Prairie Island opens to seasonal campers
- April 30: Broadway Street project comment period opens online
- April 28: Port Authority expands COVID-19 loan program
- April 27: Fire department collects 900 masks, will deliver to facilities and give away to the public
- April 22: Fire department collecting homemade masks
- April 13: Port, WNB Financial, Merchants announce new small-business loan program
- April 7: Winona Transit goes fare-free until May 8
- April 3: Winona City Council, other meetings move online during COVID-19
- April 1: New rules, guidelines for parks for COVID-19
- April 1: First confirmed COVID-19 related death in Winona County
- March 25: MN Governor orders all Winona residents to stay home for COVID-19 response
- March 20: Winona Fire Department - use of 911 during COVID-19 response
- March 19: Winona Transit Services Route Changes (click/tap here for a new printable schedule)
- March 18: Building Closure Press Release
- March 17: Sanitary Sewer Concerns
- March 14: Community and Organizational Planning and Preparation Press Conference Video