Skip to main content

Governor Tim Walz: Businesses preparing for 18 months of coronavirus impact

It's likely to change the way businesses operate in the long term.
restaurant-690975_1280

While much of the focus has been on his Stay at Home order, Gov. Tim Walz says many of Minnesota's major employers are preparing for a long haul through the coronavirus pandemic.

During his Monday press conference, Walz says that while some are eager to get back to business at the end of his Stay at Home order, some of the state's major employers are taking a more realistic look at when "normal" can resume.

The main date target they are looking at for a return to a semblance of "business as usual" is about 18 months from now, which is the outside prediction from the CDC on when a vaccine will be tested, approved and available.

While Gov. Walz says that keeping a Stay at Home order in place until a vaccine is ready is "unsustainable," but even when the order is lifted he warns that life won't automatically return to how it was, given that many people still won't feel comfortable working or going out and shopping/eating/entertaining as they once did without a vaccine in place.

"If people can't come to work, it doesn't matter if you're open or not," Walz said Monday.

"I think most of these retailers and businesses understand they’re going to have to change the way business is being done for about the next 18 months.

"They’re going to have to do that regardless of what a stay-at-home order looks like because people are naturally understanding that we’re going to have to social distance because their shopping and their retail buying experience is going to change dramatically."

"Businesses understand their customers and they are now looking at what it will take to get people back in stores, what it takes to open restaurants without vaccines," he added.

"I have been speaking to a major retailer, and they think it could be a long-time generational shift in how they view retail."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

While some of Minnesota's major retailers like Target and Best Buy should make it through the pandemic, an 18-month recovery period is likely to spell more trouble for Minnesota's smaller businesses that run on tighter profit margins.

Last week, Gov. Walz said that some of the things that people enjoy the most – attending sporting and music events, eating and drinking in crowded bars and restaurants – are likely to be the last things that come back as he relaxes his community mitigation restrictions.

The current Stay at Home order expires on May 4, and Walz is hinting that it will be extended but with more modifications as he gradually allows more non-essential businesses to reopen with social distancing guidelines in place.

He describes it as "trying to thread the needle between public safety and smart, science-based reopening" that recognizes the "economic and mental health tolls" the shutdown is taking.

Next Up

work-g674ba1702_1280

Manure spill in Wisconsin leads to hours-long main street disruption

The spill was first reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

IceCube

Ice Cube to perform 2 nights at Mystic Lake Casino

The rapper hasn't performed in Minnesota since 2018.

image

Nicollet Mall's new Ties Lounge & Rooftop closes 'indefinitely'

The establishment aimed to reconnect the downtown community.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.15.44 AM

Chinese restaurant closing after 50 years in Columbia Heights

The beloved family-owned restaurant will close Dec. 24.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.43.40 AM

Kris Laudien leaving KARE 11 after four years on 'Sunrise'

KARE 11 announced the appointment of Jason Hackett to the morning show this week.

covid

MN's COVID update for the week ending Tuesday, Nov. 29

There are now more than 570 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Minnesota.

MNAPresser12122

Twin Cities nurses to strike for 20 days starting Dec. 11

A strike in Duluth and Two Harbors doesn't have an end date set.

WELYRadio

New owners to take over long-running Ely radio station

WELY will go off the air temporarily starting Thursday, pending the sale.

Screen Shot 2022-06-23 at 12.35.25 PM

Minneapolis man gets 10 years for death threats against Hennepin Co. employees

Peter Robert Berry, 60, was sentenced in U.S. District Court Wednesday.

PrinsburgGoogle

Rural MN town to consider ordinance allowing lawsuits against abortion providers

Attorney General Keith Ellison said the ordinance would violate the state constitution.

Related

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Walz to provide update in Thursday press conference

He is expected to announce an extended, but loosened Stay at Home order.

Tim Walz modeling

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz gives his latest coronavirus update

The governor is expected to address Minnesota's long-term care crisis.

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz to hold press conference on Friday

The governor will provide an update on Minnesota's response to the coronavirus.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz extends Stay at Home order till May 18, with changes

The governor confirmed the order's extension during his Thursday press conference.

Screen Shot 2020-04-29 at 1.04.04 PM

Gov. Tim Walz to make Stay at Home announcement Thursday

The governor is expected to extend the order, but allow more businesses to re-open.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz's approval rating has grown during coronavirus crisis

The latest results from the Star Tribune/KARE 11/MPR News poll have been released.