SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Senator Melisa Franzen, DFL-Edina, urges Governor Walz to consider other small businesses as “low-risk”, such as golf courses, to open up during the Stay-at-Home Order. The Governor announced on April 8th that the order will extend to May 4th to continue flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thank the governor for considering small businesses like lawn care services in his newest executive order, but I urge him to consider other small businesses that can still be open safely,” said Sen. Franzen. “As a small business owner, I understand the gravity of the situation that many members of our community are facing as their businesses continue to be shuttered. I support a sensible approach to re-opening ‘low-risk’ businesses to provide a greater sense of security to those in our business community currently facing uncertainty.”
Senator Franzen is amongst several bi-partisan legislators that propose a phased-in approach: in addition to the “critical sectors” category, there should also be an exempted “low-risk” category including golf courses or other businesses where social distancing can be maintained on the job site. According to the Minnesota Golf Association, 11 of the 19 states under similar stay-at-home mandates are permitting golf to be played – provided steps are taken to maintain social distancing. Many adhere to simple rules like no access to pro shops, locker rooms, indoor facilities, and restaurants/bars unless for take-out purposes only.
“We must protect public health, and we must also provide economic stimulus to the state,” said Sen. Franzen. “I look forward to working with the Governor and his Commissioners to adopt measures for businesses and industry leaders to prepare a COVID-19 plan to re-open for business safely and with strong accountability measures. The sooner we plan the better.”