Skip to main content

Stay at Home: Next businesses to reopen in Minnesota could be small retailers

Gov. Tim Walz hinted at the possibility on Thursday.

The next step in the rolling reopening of Minnesota's economy is likely to be small retailers, according to Gov. Tim Walz. 

"These folks that want to reopen businesses, want to do it in a way that protects people," said Walz, speaking Thursday. "It seems to me the logical next place is small retailers across main streets that are doing curbside."

Walz said he understands the logic of Minnesota business owners who argue that it makes no sense that someone can, for example, go into Walmart for groceries and pick up a pair of socks while a small boutique can't reopen despite serving far fewer customers than big box stores. 

"Their logic is absolutely right. We gotta figure out how to do it," Walz said. "I simply refuse to be the test ground for putting people's lives at risk. But I also think we need to be testing smart strategies that combine good public health with a reopening of the economy.

"I think they've [shuttered business owners] done a heckuva lot of work towards that and we should try to get that done." 

Walz, who is expected to address Minnesotans again Friday at 2 p.m., did not say when or what types of small retailers will be allowed to reopen next. The current stay-at-home order expires May 18, which still precedes the anticipated peak of the coronavirus outbreak in Minnesota. 

By May 27, Walz expects there will be at least 1,000 deaths from COVID-19. As of Wednesday at 4 p.m., there are 508 dead and more than 9,500 sickened by the disease in Minnesota since the first case was confirmed in early March. 

The peak in late May or early June means Minnesota will be one of the last states to reach a peak during the first wave of the pandemic. It has saved lives, potentially, but also taken longer to reopen the economy. 

"I would count it that it has been a victory and it will save lives because we've pushed it out," Walz said of Minnesota's peak, "but this was the question very early on trying to strike that balance. It means that the frustrations are longer." 

The rolling reopening of the state's businesses has so far allowed essential workers to continue on, followed by granting permission to non-customer-facing businesses to reopen. Some customer-facing industries have partially reopened with curbside pick-up and delivery options, but non-essential, customer-facing business have remained shuttered since March 16. 

Next Up

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.


3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.


haircut, hair salon

Walz unveils what Minnesota businesses could reopen in 'May and beyond'

Hair salons and barber shops are included in the "May and beyond" section.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz: Businesses reopening against state orders 'puts Minnesota at risk'

A St. Paul barbershop was forced to close after attempting to reopen.

coronavirus, covid-19

Gov. Walz responds to critics of MN's 'Stay at Home' order

Minnesota's "Stay at Home" order is in place until May 4.

coronavirus, covid-19

What must retailers do to reopen under new Stay at Home guidelines?

New rules allowing curbside pickup were announced on Thursday.

coronavirus, covid-19

State leaders want ideas on best practices for reopening economy

A brief survey is available to all Minnesotans to provide feedback.

coronavirus, covid-19

What's next for Minnesota workers? 'Safely adjusting the dials'

The less predictable a work or social setting is, the longer it'll be before it can reopen.

Tim Walz modeling

Watch live: Gov. Walz updates Minnesota's Stay at Home order

The governor is expected to extend the order but provide modifications.