Many long-running Minnesota businesses have been forced to close their doors and shutter the windows permanently amidst Governor Tim Walz’s economic shutdowns.
Walz originally ordered non essential business to close beginning on March 17 in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Now, a series of extensions has moved the re-opening date to March 4, leaving many small business owners without income for 7 weeks— too long for some institutions to stay afloat.
The Egg And I is a restaurant in Minneapolis that has been serving breakfast for over 40 years. However, it could not survive Walz’s closure orders, and has served its last plate.
“When they shut down all the restaurants, we made the decision to consolidate,” owner Eric Grotbeck says.”We had lots of regular customers, lots of employees who have been there for 20-plus years,” he adds, according to the Star Tribune.
“It’s sad to see it end the way it has,” the restaurateur concluded. “It’s not how I pictured it, but it’s the way it happened.”
Another owner of a now failed restaurant says Walz’s order unfairly effects one off family owned businesses while large scale chain restaurants are able to absorb this economic hit.
“The places that are going to continue to do reasonably well on takeout and delivery are Taco Bell and Burger King, and all of our great leaders in Washington’s favorites, because they’re set up for it with drive-thrus and all that,” says Charles Lodge, the former owner of the now-closed Ginger Hop Restaurant, according to the Minneapolis Saint Paul Business Journal.
Business owners are not alone as they struggle to stay financially afloat during Walz’s COVID-19 shutdowns. 407,362 workers have also filed for unemployment in Minnesota since March 15, reports Business North. About 15% of Northeast Minnesota is out of work.