On Black Friday, Gov. Walz encourages support for small businesses amid COVID-19 pause

Governor Walz is urging shoppers to think local on Black Friday, as a COVID-19 pause is in effect in Minnesota.

In a tweet, the governor wrote: "We know the vast majority of our small businesses are doing the right thing, and this dial back is hard. If you can, shop local this holiday season. While we dial back to save lives, we also need to come together [to] support Minnesotans and our small businesses."

Last week, Governor Walz issued a four-week pause that put back in place restrictions banning indoor service for bars and restaurants while limiting gatherings for other businesses.

While there were no new specific restrictions for retail shops were put in place, the executive order did reinforce limits to occupancy for stores, social distancing and mask requirements, and the need for shops to have plans in place that meet state recommendations to prevent COVID-19 spread.

Holidays are always a critical time for retail shops on any year. The COVID-19 pandemic is poised to devastate some small business owners struggling through a difficult year with lighter foot traffic in stores and many people with tighter budgets.

On Friday, Minnesota reported a record-high single-day total for deaths with 101 lives lost to the disease.