• Reopen MN Coalition - MNReady! - For our Local Businesses

  • Reopen MN Coalition - MNReady! - For our Local Businesses

    Reopen MN Coalition - MNReady! - For our Local Businesses

    To Chamber Members and Community Leaders

    For nearly 100 days, many of our local businesses have been shuttered due to COVID-19. Workers have been furloughed, supply chains disrupted, and community engagement lost. The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) has worked tirelessly to identify resources, answer questions, facilitate discussions and advocate on your behalf to safely open again. This week we call on Governor Walz to take the final step and safely reopen all businesses no later than June 19. See here for a letter to the Governor. 

    Minnesota is ready. We know you are ready. You have safely prepared your facility with best practices, safeguarding your employees and customers. For those of you who are already safely serving customers, adding capacity would help cover costs of staff, supplies, or make it more economically viable to bring all employees back to work.

    It is why your Chamber is part of Minnesota Ready – a coalition of more than 50 local chambers and trade associations representing tens of thousands of Minnesota businesses and employees in every corner of the state. We stand ready to support you.  
    Our collective efforts throughout the week will include a call to action of Minnesota’s governor and legislators to safely reopen all businesses no later than June 19. Date certainty allows for advance notice to help you plan for changes in business practices, transition employees back safely, and promote your new practices to your customers to build their confidence in your operations. 

    We know that small businesses were disproportionately impacted by the stay-at-home executive order issued on March 13. But small businesses are the economic fuel of our community’s future. Nearly half of Minnesotans own or work for a small business and create two out of every three new jobs each year.  What’s more Minnesota’s small businesses continue to operate at only a small portion of their total capacity, leaving workers waiting for a full return to employment. 
    As members of the Chamber we ask you consider joining us by calling upon state leadership to safely reopen all businesses no later than June 19. We are Minnesota Ready.  We are Valley Strong.

    Also, please join us on Thursday, June 11 at 3:00 p.m. at the Lift Bridge Brewery to share your business story and the impacts faced due to closure. We will hear from a variety of businesses and we thank the Lift Bridge Brewery for hosting and moderating this important event.  Find the event page for this event  HERE and please share this information with other businesses.

    What have other states done?

    • North Dakota, which borders Minnesota to the west is second only to Montana as the most open business in the nation. 
    • Indiana’s “Back on Track Indiana” plan has clear timelines if positive health outcomes are sustained. For example, on June 14th, retail stores and malls can operate at full capacity; dining rooms at 75% capacity; bowling alleys and other smaller entertainment venues at 50% capacity. By July 4, personal services, gyms, bars and restaurants are open at full capacity and gatherings of 250 people are allowed including sports venues, conventions, festivals and state fair. https://backontrack.in.gov/2348.htm 
    • “Re-open Kansas” allows all businesses to fully re-open with adherence to health safety guidelines after June 8. https://covid.ks.gov/ad-astra-a-plan-to-reopen-kansas/  
    • Iowa re-opened small retail boutiques, personal services, fitness facilities, entertainment venues and establishments serving alcohol (50% capacity limitation) in May.
    • North Dakota small businesses including breweries, bars, restaurants, personal care services, retail and smaller entertainment venues have been open since May 1.
    • Wisconsin small businesses have been open (if not prohibited by local health orders) since May 13.
    Thank you for all you do for this community. For the Chamber, this effort is in direct alignment with our mission and we will continue to support our business community to regain the economy, put food on your families tables, and enrich the life of our community. We are stronger together and we are #MNReady.

    Warmest Regards,


    Robin Anthony, IOM
    Executive Director/President
    Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce

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