This article should highlight the path forward for Minnesota, Gov. Walz and the DFL. Unfortunately, Gov. Walz and the DFL don’t trust the people, except if they’re contributors to the DFL.

According to the article, “Pressure grew all last week for government leaders to chart an end to their stay-home orders and nonessential business designations — and to allow businesses and consumers to adapt to the new reality.’ It continued, saying ‘In New Ulm, a co-owner of the Penazz Aveda hair salon, Melissa Lawson, said her stylists and customers are ready to go as soon as Gov. Tim Walz allows. ‘We’re going to open right away. That Monday if possible,’ she said, assuming he will designate a Monday start. ‘It will be busy.’ But business will be different, Lawson added. Stylists will wear face masks and gloves and sanitize more often. Customers will not be allowed to bring a friend or a child. ‘We’ll probably eliminate our front seating area,’ Lawson said.”

In other words, businesses are already making adjustments so they can reopen. That’s the predictable result of this virus. People understand that, at least initially, they’ll have to adjust. They’re totally willing to do that. This article is proof of that. Lawson’s story is just one of the stories. Here’s another:

Christine Ward, owner of Patina Stores, a gift and furnishings retailer that has been around the Twin Cities for 25 years, said Walz holds the fate of the company in his hands. Ward last week received a Small Business Administration loan to cover payroll costs and must start using the funds this week. But the state won’t let work happen in Patina’s eight stores.

She wants Walz to give retailers like Patina the same opportunity to do business that he has to liquor stores, coffee shops and garden centers. She said smaller stores can more easily adapt to the new normal than the stores that are currently drawing crowds. “The safety and health of our employees and customers is the most critical issue for us,” Ward said. “We can match what other businesses that were allowed to remain open are doing. As entrepreneurs, we feel we excel in adapting.”

She’s installing plexiglass at checkouts and already stocked masks, gloves and cleaning equipment at the company’s eight stores. She has been able to defer some bills but Patina needs to open next month, Ward said, or it will have to close for good. “There’s no thinking past the end of May for us. There is too much mounting debt,” she said.

If Gov. Walz and the DFL was paying attention, which they aren’t, they’d notice that businesses are making adjustments to open. If Gov. Walz and the DFL was paying attention, which they aren’t, they’d notice that people are on the verge of losing their livelihoods, their life savings and the family business that’s been in their family for decades. That’s how communities, not just families, get demolished.

Digi-Key Electronics Inc.
Around 2,300 employees for Digi-Key Electronics, the components distributor based in Thief River Falls, have been working from home during the pandemic.
“We transitioned to that over about two days, so kudos to our IT staff,” said Kevin Brown, its vice president of communications. More than 600 are performing essential work at the firm’s warehouses, he said.

When the stay-home order is lifted, the company will bring employees back to offices in phases, he said. The company has already implemented “extreme sanitization procedures” for staff working now, including sanitization breaks every two hours, a tunnel that uses UV rays to disinfect the bins used to move products around the warehouse, gloves and masks for workers, more separation between employees, and a contract with an outside cleaning firm to disinfect the warehouses at the end of each day. “We’ve also become much more adept at videoconferencing,” Brown said.

It’s amazing what can happen when you trust people. Gov. Walz and the DFL should try it sometime.

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