Minnesota Ready Coalition Asks to Remove All Covid Restrictions by June 19
Representing almost 60 business organizations, the Minnesota Ready coalition asked Gov. Tim Walz to allow all Minnesota businesses to fully open by June 19.
The coalition comprises the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, local chambers of commerce from across all corners of the state, and various business associations. The group formed over the shared concern of the continued impact of closures and capacity restrictions on businesses, said Vicki Stute, vice president of programs and business services at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
“We represent those small businesses who have taken on much of the economic impact of having to be closed for the last three months,” she said. “There still are a number of small businesses that are only operating at a certain percentage of their full capacity.”
The goal is to get businesses open for the summer and in time for the Fourth of July.
State health officials have said that Minnesota hasn’t yet reached its peak in the number of Covid-19 cases. Stute said the coalition has taken that into consideration.
“There’s still a question as to whether or not we’ve hit that peak,” She said. “But what we do know is that there’s an opportunity to fully open the private sector and at the same time safeguard our workers and our consumers.”
She said if there was an outbreak of the virus within a specific business, the expectation would be that the business would adjust its practices and work with officials to mitigate the spread.
“There’s been a lot of planning that’s gone into the reopening phase. So, an assurance would help businesses feel more financially secure and be successful,” Stute said.
After being closed or partially closed for several months, some businesses in the coalition are concerned about competition from across state lines, she added.
Businesses have been preparing to open safely, through training, education, and planning, said Jennifer Harmening, president of the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
“A pandemic is a shared responsibility amongst everybody,” she said. “Businesses were asked to close to buy time to build up our healthcare system––and they did that. We’ve spent three months building up the health care system. And now we need to come together as a community and have shared responsibility. Businesses and individuals will need to continue to follow CDC guidelines throughout the pandemic––and they will.”