Senator Johnson, Senate Republicans share ideas from small businesses ready to open safely

On Monday, Senate Republicans shared ideas from small businesses and churches to safely reopen as Minnesota enters the third month with a stay at home order. Despite billions in federal stimulus dollars being pumped into the state, nearly 600,000 Minnesotans have filed for unemployment, and thousands of small and local businesses and churches, have closed their doors to the public, and some have closed for good.

“I am disappointed with the Governor’s decision to extend the blanket stay-at-home order across Minnesota,” said Senator Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks). “Our small businesses are doing all they can to stay afloat. Businesses in Northwestern Minnesota are facing a particularly tough time, as our neighbor to the west, North Dakota, have already begun to open up. Our state does not need to choose between preserving public health or helping our economy; we can do both.  We all want to protect our parents, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors, classmates, and loved ones, and our businesses do too. I ask Governor Walz to change Minnesota’s approach to dealing with Covid-19 focusing on evidence-based solutions and listening to our businesses on the front lines and their plans that will allow us to open up Minnesota safely and smartly.” 

Speakers at the press conference included a salon owner, restaurant and bar owners, and the pastor of a small church. They shared the various efforts they’ve made to re-open following CDC guidelines. They also shared what might happen if the business closures remain in place any longer than planned. 

Senate Republicans also announced the formation of a Senate taskforce dedicated to economic recovery from COVID-19.

The purpose of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce (CERT) is to safely and efficiently reopen Minnesota’s economy in accordance with the state and federal public health guidelines. Chaired by Minnesota businessman Mike Vekich, CERT membership will include Senators from both caucuses, representatives from private businesses, health care, trade unions, higher education, local government, and the financial industry. 

Watch the press conference on Facebook