On Wednesday, Governor Walz announced that he will extend shutdowns and restrictions of Minnesota businesses into the New Year, including a full shutdown of bars and restaurants, and continued restrictions on youth sporting events. Additionally, the Governor will continue to keep hotel pools closed despite there being zero known cases of transmission.
According to reporting in the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) attributes 2,766 cases to restaurant or bar customers, representing 0.7% of the 384,164 cases in our state. For comparison, the number of cases affiliated with restaurants/bars is less than the number of deaths at nursing homes or long-term care facilities alone.
Keeping restaurants closed without even considering more nuanced restrictions, like the 10:00 curfew, while also allowing more families to gather in homes is confusing. The Governor’s office said that 80% of community spread is when people gather in private settings. So why is that safer than in a business where folks are masking and sanitizing?
This news is the latest blow to small businesses in our community. We have been begging the Governor for more notice so businesses can plan for these latest changes and I urge him to follow the data and stop scapegoating the hospitality industry and destroying businesses and people’s livelihoods in the process.
There is a lack of dialogue and listening from the Governor’s office and zero respect paid to businesses giving them time to react for openings and closings. The sympathy of dealing with a ‘global pandemic’ is on all of us. The Governor’s office has ruined their relationship with legislators that have begged them to join in on conversations and calls with business owners.
While this latest setback will cause even more harm to main street businesses, the legislature was able to provide some badly needed relief for businesses with the passage of a legislative relief package late Monday evening. This package will help our businesses and employees who are struggling and I hope will be a bridge until additional help comes from the federal government. I hope it makes it in time for these businesses that employ our friends, families, and neighbors.
I encourage you to visit this link to learn more about business grants available thank to the bill passed on Monday: https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/covid-19-business-relief-payments
You can click here or the photo below to watch my comments on the bill.
Staying in Touch
I’ll continue to have more updates as session begins in January. In the meantime, please be sure to reach out to me and share any thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 651-296-6206.
Have a good weend