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MN Businesses react to Gov. Walz's latest announcement on re-opening

Emily Ness
Updated: May 13, 2020 11:00 PM

Governor Walz’s latest announcement on the state’s response to COVID-19 will allow retail stores and main street businesses to re-open at 50% capacity and people to gather in settings of ten or less on May 18th. But, restrictions on restaurants, salons and large-crowd venues will remain until at least June 1st when discussions surrounding their re-opening resume.

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One business who is able to re-open is DLH Clothing, although Sarah Herrick-Smisek, co-owner said it would not happen overnight.

“I have been working on our safety plan and implementing what those new safety measure will look like in our shop. Safety for my employees, safety for myself and our customers is of the utmost importance,” Herrick-Smisek said.

Being a clothing store where people like to try things on, Herrick-Smisek said DLH Clothing is looking towards moving towards more of a display type setting where clothes will be hung up for people to look at and employees will do most of the handling of the clothes. Other safety measures include social distancing, contactless payments and new cleaning regimens.

“It is exciting. We hope by being able to do that, that we are really able to increase our sales again, but also that people feel safe,” Herrick-Smisek said.

On the other side of the isle, salons like Adeline will remain closed for the time being.

“My heart is with my employees right now trying to figure out how we all get through this, but of course I’ve been financially impacted, I’ve lost $65,000 since the closure,” Adeline Wright, owner of Adeline said.

Fortunately, Wright said her salon was able to receive some relief from the City of Duluth’s 1200 Fund. That relief came in the form of $10,000 that will be used to pay her employee’s health insurance premiums.

“I’m a business that pays more than a living wage and offers lots of benefits to the small number of employees that I have,” Wright said.

Despite the hardship she is facing, Wright said she is doing her best to stay positive and patient and encourages her employees and clients to do the same.

“People are going to want to get in right away, but I have 600 appointments to reschedule and going from doing 15 to 22 a day and now all of a sudden, only being able to do 6 or 7, not everybody is going to get in,” Wright said. “I just want to encourage everyone to stay positive and support each other and offer information because there is going to be plenty of work to go around for all of us and then some and our industry is going to remain strong and do better if we behave as a community.”

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said roughly 37,000 Minnesotans will return to work Monday. Discussions about re-opening further businesses will come next month.

Credits

Emily Ness

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

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