So much uncertainty still surrounding lockdown orders in Minnesota

“Will Governor Walz extend Covid-19 restrictions?”, that is the big question that Minnesota business owners are asking currently. According to a report by Star Tribune,

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce this week whether Minnesota restaurants, bars and entertainment venues that have been under forced closure since the end of November will be able to reopen soon.

Using emergency powers, Walz ordered the businesses closed to indoor use as of Nov. 21 as coronavirus diagnoses surged throughout Minnesota.

The Democratic governor later extended the closures to run through Jan. 11, a week from Monday. Word of what’s next for those businesses is likely to come this week.

Sadly, this level of uncertainty is not new. Throughout the duration of the emergency period, Minnesota business owners have had to engage in numerous guessing games about the Governor’s plans and intentions regarding the timing and duration of most lockdown orders. This is bad for business as perfectly illustrated by some lawmakers,

Republican state Sens. Michelle Benson and Eric Pratt said Walz should make his intentions clear on Monday.

“Anyone who runs a restaurant knows it’s not just flipping a switch to reopen,” said Pratt, of Prior Lake. “The industry needs time to order supplies and schedule employees at least a week in advance.”

As I have already written before, uncertainty, in general, is very damaging to businesses and the economy. Business owners need the information to plan ahead, make necessary changes or investments. Take, for instance, what happened with restaurants during the winter period. When Governor Walz instated restrictions on indoor dining, restaurant owners invested in outside heating equipment in order to operate during the winter. However, these investments went underwater as soon as new rules were put in place totally banning outdoor dining.

Lockdowns have already been disastrous to the Minnesota economy. For example, in 2020, Minnesota saw record closures of restaurants due to the lockdowns. In addition, no evidence supports extending restrictions on businesses. Evidence mostly shows that lockdowns do not control the virus. Further subjecting businesses to constant changes during a period when they should be focusing on recovery will just further help decimate damaged businesses.