In a speech in front of Farmington’s closed City Hall Monday, business owner Tim Struck said that when the stay-at-home order ends May 18, his business will open the next day — even if the governor extends his order that doesn’t allow it…
“I’ve spoken to a lot of small businesses over the last couple of days … they’re afraid to open. They’re afraid to get fines. They’re afraid they’ll be put in jail. They’re afraid they’ll lose their license, of legal expenses, and as Governor Walz said, basically asking people to put bad Yelp reviews on these businesses, which is just deplorable,” said Struck, owner of CrossFit Calypso. “Small-business owners should not be afraid to go to work to make an honest living. It’s the United States of America.”
The publicity over the state-sanctioned reopening of Minnesota’s largest candy store recently after the owners met with Walz’s virus task force only adds to the mounting dissatisfaction with the process.
Apparently some cities also plan to debate whether to allow businesses to reopen under certain conditions, as well.
Vadnais Heights posted a letter its mayor sent to Walz May 6 encouraging him to open the state’s small businesses.
“Not all categories of businesses are equal and one size doesn’t always fit all,” Mayor Heidi Gunderson wrote in the letter. “If big box stores can operate safely, surely a small main street retailer or salon can as well. Those proprietors know their businesses best and should have the ability to take appropriate precautions to make the best decisions for their customers and staff.”
The suburb of Lakeville will be among the first municipalities to tackle whether to send a message to the state on the vital importance of getting Main Street safely back up and running, sooner rather than later.
“The flood gates are opening,” tweeted Lakeville City Councilman Luke Hellier on Monday. “Several cities are planning resolutions on re-opening that will be voted on this week. Stay tuned for more.”
He did not give specifics, but added, “Whatever happens with the governor will determine what type of resolution I present to our council for discussion at our next meeting.”Another protest is planned Thursday at the governor’s residence to put pressure on Walz to open the state.
Businesses clearly recognize the risks associated with reopening and the need to do so safely and prudently. Yet the state also runs a risk, namely of losing the cooperation of the communities needed to enforce it, the longer and seemingly more arbitrary the shutdown becomes.