Minnesota businesses react to new COVID-19 restrictions

Updated: November 19, 2020 09:12 AM
Created: November 18, 2020 07:45 PM

Minnesota restaurants, gyms and other businesses are reacting to Governor Tim Walz’s latest announcement about the state’s response to COVID-19.

Some said they may be forced to permanently close as a result of lost revenue brought on by new restrictions, while others said they were holding onto the hope that the restrictions would last no longer than four weeks and they'd survive.

Carla Bloomberg, the co-owner of At Sarah’s Table Chester Creek Care said business is 10-15% of what it was prior to the pandemic.

“In order to function—just minimally function, we need to bring in about $2500 a day and right now, we are bringing in, some days, like $1100,” Bloomberg said.

Because of this, Bloomberg said they decided to move towards takeout and drive-thru, rather than offering dine-in services, even before Governor Walz’s announcement.

“Our revenue at this time just doesn’t support it. We’re not making enough money,” Bloomberg said.

If business doesn’t pick up, Bloomberg said she will have to make the difficult decision to lay employees off and this time, she worries that they don’t have the extra $600 a week from the federal government to get by.

“They don’t have the cushion to make it through these times like they did,” Bloomberg said. “The federal government in the last five months has just absolutely not stepped up to the plate to do anything.”

Gyms too have struggled to stay afloat. Maddy Johnson, the general manager at 9 Round said they suffered some loss of revenue as a result of canceled and paused memberships during the state’s first shut down back in March. During that time, Johnson, helped create virtual at-home workouts.

“We figured that community is super important to our gym and so we created a Facebook page to stay connected with all of our members and to join us on daily Zoom workouts and it helped a lot of the moral in the gym,” Johnson said.

Now, Johnson said the gym will start those virtual home workouts back up again with the hope of keeping their name out there during this difficult time.

“I want to get a lot more people involved doing them. Maybe giving out some prizes for people showing up or doing live workouts and then posting them to our Facebook--not just for our members to see, but for our Duluth community to see would be really nice to keep our name out there,” Johnson said.

Both Bloomberg and Johnson hope for the best.

“We’ll come back bigger, better, stronger and we’ll have a better idea of what’s to come,” Johnson said.

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