To the editor:

This month’s dial turn and announcement is good news – getting some of our businesses closer to 100% open, flexibility in employers being able to bring back office staff, allowing larger events to happen and more. This should be celebrated. At the same time, the Eden Prairie Chamber, representing over 300 area employers and 34,000 area employees, continues to ask: Where is the plan? We want to share with businesses a plan that outlines and shares key dates and benchmarks for businesses to plan around moving forward, with flexibility to pull back based on cases and other parameters. Businesses need to know this so they can plan accordingly – bringing back and hiring staff, ordering products and inventory, preparing facilities, marketing and scheduling events.

Our businesses have been through over 100 Executive Orders that have shutdown business operations or restricted them to be sure we were able to slow the spread of the virus, flatten the curve, protect our healthcare workers and system and get to where we have vaccines and the ability to operate safely. Businesses responded with safety protocols, protected their workers and customers, and have followed guidelines to help get us to this point. We thank them for their efforts and our residents for doing their part as well.

Today we know that there is good news on numerous fronts – over 70% of seniors, some of our most vulnerable in Minnesota, have received at least one vaccine dose; over 20% of Minnesotans in general have received at least one dose, and you stated in a press conference that the vaccinations are only weeks away and not months. Your announcement highlights the need for planning for some of our key entertainment businesses – Twins opener, MN United opener – and you highlighted how schools need a month to plan ahead. Businesses need this type of planning opportunity too. Our ask is that you share with our employers the future opening benchmarks and dates the dials will be evaluated for movement that will help them plan moving forward so our local businesses can be ready, prepared and be active partners.

Our goal is the same as yours – get to the point we are 100% open. Our ask is for the administration to share the next steps and the plan that businesses can use in their operations moving forward.

Pat MulQueeny

President, Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce

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