Learn something

Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development, in partnership with Coursera, has made large numbers of online courses free.

The goal of the program is to prepare people (including those who may have recently lost their jobs) for in-demand careers.

You can take classes and snag a professional certificate such as Google IT Support or Cloud Engineering. Or you can start work on a new career path, such as game developer or Java programmer.

More than 200 universities, including the University of Minnesota, have classes available as part of the program.

Again, it's completely free.

Find more information and sign up at careerforcemn.com/coursera.

Traveler trends

Ahead of what is typically a busy travel weekend, the AAA is reporting they expect a decline in summer travel. No surprise there.

They expect to see summer travel fall by over 14%, with 700 million trips taken in the U.S. Trips via airlines are forecast to decreased by nearly 74%, while travel by rail, cruise or other is predicted to fall about by an astonishing 85%, according to a AAA news release.

Car trips are expected to make up about 97% of all trips.

Since April, travel has been modestly increasing, as hotel and rental car bookings climb. And these travelers are making their bookings last-minute at a slightly higher rate than normal.

Wherever you travel — if you do — please wear a mask.

Another opening

If you caught The Memo last week, we had a number of business openings to report.

I have another one this week: North Shore Federal Credit Union just opened its new location in the Lincoln Park Craft District.

It's the credit union's second location in Duluth. President Cassie Ernest pointed to the Lincoln Park Business Group's vision of growing a prospering neighborhood, saying the vision aligns with its own.

The credit union also has locations in Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Lutsen, Grand Marais and Grand Portage.

Business grants

The state's Small Business Relief Grant program began accepting applicants last week.

Small businesses impacted by the pandemic could receive $10,000 grants. The businesses must have 50 or fewer full-time employees.

Half of the program's funding will be awarded to businesses in greater Minnesota, and the other half will be made available to businesses in the Twin Cities metro area.

The money can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills and more.

A computer-generated lottery process will randomly select businesses from the applicant pool.

Applications close at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Find more information on DEED's Small Business Relief Grants page.

Kelly Busche covers business and health for the News Tribune. Let her know if your business applied for the grant at kbusche@duluthnews.com.