A viral post from The Coffee Nest shared it was forced to close after the state threatened the local business with imprisonment, fines, and more. They have since deleted the post, citing an influx of private hate messages.
Most commenters expressed frustration over the negative impacts of Governor Tim Walz’s executive orders.
The owners issued this statement to The Minnesota Sun:
“Our customers and community are at the forefront of every business decision we make. Our state inspections have shown that we have always taken cleanliness and sanitation very seriously. We chose to operate our small business while not adhering to our government’s overreach by Governor Walz. We believe his mandates are illegal and unconstitutional, and as such we will not enforce or adhere to them. We respect every person’s right to choose not to enter our establishment, and welcome those who choose to come in. Tuesday, we were visited by the state. While we passed our annual inspection with flying colors, we were found ‘defiantly non-compliant to all executive orders.’ We were threatened with an array of fines, imprisonment, cease and desist, etc. Due to the nature of the threats, my husband and I decided to continue to stand for our freedom and close our doors to avoid further action from the state. While we understand the financial risks involved, we have faith that we will be supported by our community when we are able to reopen. The outpouring of support from near and far has been unimaginable, and for that we are grateful.”
Stress under pandemic-related regulations have caused countless Minnesotan businesses to close. An incomplete list from The Star Tribune estimates 150 closures, not including churches and bigger events such as concerts or sports. The state also lost approximately $5 billion in tourism revenue from May to August.
Nationally, over 80,000 small businesses closed permanently by the end of July.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses make up over 44 percent of economic activity, and 99.5 percent of Minnesota’s businesses are small. They employ nearly 50 percent of the workforce.
Back in May, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) projected that thousands of deaths would occur each month – even with extended regulations. Deaths total 1,869 currently. 70 percent of the deaths occurred in long-term care or assisted living facilities. The current recovery rate is at 90 percent in Minnesota.
Walz will call a special session of the legislature to extend his pandemic emergency powers another thirty days. Walz first called the peacetime emergency on March 13th – six months ago.
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