For nearly 100 days, many of our local businesses have been shattered due to COVID-19. Workers have been furloughed, supply chains disrupted, and community engagement lost. Big Lake Chamber of Commerce & Industry has worked tirelessly to identify resources, answer questions, facilitate discussions and advocate on behalf of businesses 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.  

Minnesota is ready. Local small businesses have safely prepared their facilities with best practices, safeguarding employees and customers. Adding full capacity would help cover costs of staff, supplies, or make it more economically viable to bring all employees back to work. Check out our Facebook page to hear directly from businesses severely impacted by the Governor’s Executive Orders.

It is why our 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 our local businesses and help our economy.

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 businesses plan for changes in business practices, transition employees back safely, and promote new practices to build confidence for their customers to return.  

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.  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.  

We ask everyone to step forward and join us by calling upon the Governor to safely reopen all businesses no later than June 19. We are Minnesota Ready.  SHOP LOCAL!

Gloria Vande Brake,  

Executive director

Big Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

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