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Hospitality Minnesota proposes Economic Relief package

Emily Ness
Updated: May 06, 2020 11:09 PM

Restaurants, resorts and hotels are where over 300,000 Minnesotans make their livelihoods and where many more make some of the happiest memories of their life. But now, many of these businesses are unable to make ends meet as COVID-19 continues.

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According to a recent survey by Hospitality Minnesota, over half of hospitality businesses may be forced to close permanently in the next two months without relief. This is why Hospitality Minnesota is asking the legislature to act through a proposed economic relief package to aid restaurants, resorts and hotels during this time.

“We want to acknowledge how important these businesses are to Minnesota, our culture and our way of life. These are the heart of our communities—of our region and we can’t afford to let this industry die,” Liz Rammer, President & CEO of Hospitality Minnesota said.

The package would be a six step plan—some highlights being delaying May 15th property tax payments, waiving sales tax for hospitality businesses through October and expanding the small business emergency loan program by $120 million. More information about that plan can be found here.

“Given that this industry really supports over 10% of jobs in Minnesota and is a really robust part of our economy, its worth this investment and we think it’s very appropriate,” Rammer said.

Hospitality Minnesota says this is necessary because may businesses have no more than 20% of their usual revenue coming in and some resorts have a season of only 100 days to bring revenue in.

Businesses too have voiced their thoughts and feelings on the matter through testimonials they have shared with Hospitality Minnesota.

One of these businesses is Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitters, owned by Steve Nelson and his wife and daughter.

Nelson said his family’s business is just starting their season, so he is unsure exactly how COVID-19 could impact revenue, however, he still has a number of reservations lined up and he is hopeful.

“I think we’re all aware of the impact of what could happen. But, we care for people. You know, we’re in a people business. We enjoy the interaction with people so we don’t want anyone to get hurt, we don’t want anyone to get infected or come down with any type of disease. Over the years, we’ve taken many of the approaches that are being recommended,” Nelson said.

As the season kicks off and fishing opener takes place Saturday, Nelson said they will be even more diligent in their cleaning and sanitization.

“I would say trust us,  you know, you’ve trusted us in the past and we’re going to continue to do a good job with that,” Nelson said.

Additionally, Nelson noted he was grateful Hospitality Minnesota is being proactive in helping those in the hospitality industry.

“There’s just a whole lot of people and if we can pull our voices together—that’s when people in Minnesota realize the impact of hospitality in Minnesota,” Nelson said.

Credits

Emily Ness

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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