Local business owners react to rising COVID-19 surge in Minnesota

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Holiday shopping for many is now in full swing – but with Minnesota a hot spot for transmission, business owners are starting to rethink how to keep their staff and customers safe.

During this time last year there were a lot of unknowns for Amanda Rolfe and her Lincoln Park craft district store, Liila Boutique.

"When the pandemic first started and there were no vaccines it was – for me personally- it was really scary because last year i was the only person working the store," said Rolfe. "So it was a little scary to think ‘well if I get sick then I have to close for two weeks.’"

This year, the release of the COVID vaccine and more staffing has lightened the load.

This holiday season, a resurgence in cases alongside supply chain issues is causing concern for a number of local businesses.

Rolfe saying that since many businesses are already short on employees, taking one or two people off a schedule is stressful enough as it is.

Corktown Deli, a neighbor of Liila Boutique, showing signs of the surge by shutting down this week due to COVID concerns.

"There’s a big ‘what if’ thrown into the holiday season and with supply chains and everything else its already been a little stressful."

Rolfe now considering whether she’ll be re-adding safety guidelines to her store, saying it’s a decision she will likely have to make soon.

"As a business owner, we’re doing the best we can. We’re trying to keep our employees safe and we’re trying to keep our customers safe."

Rolfe saying her biggest request from the community: be kind and be patient.