Ken Warner: Open state businesses on June 19

Letter writer calls on Gov. Walz to open state businesses by June 19.

Reader Opinion letter
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COVID-19-related business closures and restrictions have been in place around three months (126 days as of June 11) and the uncertainty is taking its toll. The rules seem to change weekly and businesses are scrambling to quickly meet government mandates. As President of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, I am urging Governor Walz to fully open all Minnesota business no later than June 19.

Minnesota businesses — especially small businesses are already operating safely and have taken the necessary safety precautions with detailed, effective preparedness plans in place. The business employees and customers are their most valuable asset and above all else, they want to keep them safe. We understand the public health risks associated with COVID-19 and want to do our part to help slow the spread.

But we also want businesses to keep their doors open for years to come. Knowing when they can fully reopen or increase customer capacity on a specific date would help them budget for the future and better prepare a safe environment for returning to full capacity. A firm reopen date would allow all Minnesota businesses to prepare for more employees to return and to make customers aware of new best practices to promote a safe environment.

Now isn’t the time for weekly “turns of the dial.” Let businesses continue to do what they’ve been doing for months — responsibly protecting employees and customers. Small businesses need decisive action in order to ensure their long-term survival and that starts with a June 19 reopening date in Minnesota.


Ken Warner, President

Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

Kelly Boldan has been editor of West Central Tribune and in Willmar, Minnesota, since October 2001. He joined Forum Communications Co. in November 1998 as editor of the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer.
Boldan can be reached via email: or telephone: 320-214-4331.
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