Gov. Walz begins listening tour with small businesses on pandemic's impact

Walz met with small business owners at Uptown Curl in Stillwater amid a listening tour to learn how the pandemic has impacted businesses. (FOX 9)

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz started a series of listening sessions with small businesses owners to see what more the state can do to help them during the pandemic.

Walz started Tuesday in Stillwater, where he met with the owners of the Daily Grind coffee shop and the owner of Uptown Curl hair salon. Kristy Zimmerman of Uptown Curl told the governor the interest-free state loan she received help her keep the business open, but she also says small businesses need to get back to full capacity as soon possible.

“When it’s safe, it would be nice to have that 50-percent capacity restriction removed so that we can go back to our normal volume,” said Zimmerman. “Of course some of that is just dependent upon consumer confidence, of people feeling safe. And that’s going to be different for everyone. It’s going to be a person al decision.”  

“Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to give them all of that,” said Walz. “I think one of the things is us continuing to figure out is if folks are wearing masks and social distancing and we have numbers that are fairly reasonable, we need to move in a direction to give them more capacity.”  

The governor noted that the state’s infection rate is currently at 5.4 percent, but the rate of community spread is at 40 percent, which will drive more case numbers.