Over 200 businesses display COVID-19 resistance

Minnesota businesses defy Gov. Tim Walz

Boardwalk Bar & Grill located in Grand Forks, ND

Boardwalk Bar & Grill located in Grand Forks, ND

Gillian Kapinos

Gov. Tim Walz extended the ban on indoor dining Dec. 16 and over 200 businesses decided not to listen. The privilege is deafening. 

In Minnesota alone, COVID-19 cases climb to over 400,000 and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping. Walz made the smart decision of extending the closure of all bars and indoor dining in Minnesota. 

Dec. 13, The Boardwalk Bar & Grill in Grand Forks got their liquor license removed after many warnings from public health officials. This sparked a certain outrage in some Minnesotans, causing them to stand up and support The Boardwalk through a Facebook group called ReOpen Minnesota, with the goal of getting Minnesota back fully open through community support. 

A quick look through the group’s posts, and it is apparent that they think their defiance is just a peaceful protest guarded under the First Amendment. While somewhat plausible, thousands of lives will be risked if this happens. The group said all these businesses will be able to reopen safely without risking lives.

Their reopening plan does not excuse the vast amount of privilege the majority of these businesses have. Being able to socially distance and being able to afford to sanitize everything properly is a big privilege that some of us don’t even think about. 

About 2% of all cases in Minnesota are from restaurants and bars. It may feel that it’s not worth closing them all down, but the executive order isn’t a punishment, it’s something that will bring the risk and case numbers down. It’s scary people think they can have complete freedom and get away with everything.

On the other side, the government needs to pass more stimulus bills to help small business owners so they don’t feel trapped. There’s only been one stimulus check during the quarantine and that wasn’t enough. Not only do the restaurant owners pay for the rent of their building and employees, but their own payments, and if they can’t make even half of their usual profit, then they fall. 

If all non-essential businesses shut down for 4-6 weeks, then everything can be reopened with minimal to no COVID-19 cases. Receiving stimulus checks during the time would tide over small business owners. This would ensure a full safe reopening. No one would have to defy the government and risk lives to make money.