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Some Business Leaders Appeal To Governor To Reopen

Out of frustration over seeing crowds of shoppers in corporate big box stores while their locally-owned small businesses struggle to stay afloat with curbside or takeout service, some business owners are urging Governor Tim Walz to let them reopen with safe distancing measures in place.

MartinPatrick3 co-owner Dana Swindler says smaller stores are being held to a tougher standard than the larger ones. “The biggest frustration I have is, since we closed down on March 27th, is when I walk into a grocery store or any large box format that is open, there are lines of people not wearing masks, not wearing gloves, touching everything. And I say, well how can this possibly be safer than a small store like ours that during a normal workweek never has social distancing problems because we have plenty of space.”

Swindler says his store is ready with masks, hand sanitizer, plexiglass shields between customers and checkout registers, as well as 18,000 square feet of retail space that allows shoppers to maintain their distance. You can watch his full statement above.

Marcus Dorn, Darby’s owner

Meanwhile, the owner of Darby’s Pub and Grill, Marcus Dorn, would like the governor to allow a business with a spacious patio like his to allow them to serve guests outdoors on tables that are spaced far apart.

“Whatever the governor’s willing to let us do,” said Dorn, “we just want to bring our staff back and we want to keep our employees employed and let people have a meal out on a patio. You’re just as safe sitting out here, six feet away from one another, as you are walking down the aisle of your local Costco.”

You can watch Dorn’s full statement here.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association

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