As Minnesota relaxes stay-at-home order restrictions, some businesses owners remain frustrated

Thursday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced he would extend the state's stay-at-home order by two weeks, taking it to May 18, but while allowing some businesses to resume work.

Under the updated order, starting May 4, some retail shops and customer-facing businesses could resume work by offering curbside pickup and delivery options.

Salons and barbers shops are still prohibited from opening up for customer haircuts but are being allowed to sell products as long they adhere to the curbside and delivery rules.

While the changes are welcome news for some businesses, some owners tell us the changes do little to help them make it through the pandemic. For the Waconia Barber Shop, the ability to sell products does little to help them.

"Being a barbershop, maybe just comparing a  barbershop to a salon," explained Josh Kirkpatrick. "Men don’t buy a ton of products. I have some, beard care stuff, shampoo, stuff like that but that’s not, that’s definitely not what drives my business."

Kirkpatrick understands the governor is trying to keep people safe. But watching some stores do big business while he is forced to stay closed is frustrating.

"You walk into a grocery store or Target or Walmart, you’ll come in contact with far more people in a few minutes than I will see throughout a day here," he said.

Kirkpatrick says he’s good on guidelines like sanitizing, social distancing, and masks. Same for Dawn Grohs, the owner of Mainstream Boutique in Chanhassen. She says she too is good to go and just needs the go-ahead.

"We wipe down everything, we’re ready to roll," she said. "Actually, we’re getting masks tomorrow made by a local lady in St. Paul so we’ll have masks if people need them or they can buy them so we’ll be ready."

But Grohs says her customers have been great, buying products online. And Kirkpatrick says the Waconia community and his clients have also been kind, buying gift cards to be used at a later date. He just hopes that date isn’t too far off.

"Just my business, and I know a lot of other small businesses too, just anxious to get back to work and earn a living," Kirkpatrick explained.

While the next stay home order expires on May 18, there is nothing that says that will be opening day, leaving many small owners frustrated as there’s no official end in sight.