Area businesses react to new COVID-19 restrictions

Area businesses react to new COVID-19 restrictions

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Starting Friday at 11:59 p.m., Minnesota will be dialing back with new COVID-19 restrictions.

It comes as the state sees a surge of coronavirus cases like we haven’t seen yet, and hospitals face the risk of reaching capacity.

Now, businesses are scrambling to find ways to stay afloat while complying with the new rules and keeping everyone safe.

”I understand it has to be done, I get that. Am I worried? Yes, I am so scared. This is how I provide for my family is through my business, with my business, but there is nothing I can do about it. You can either sit down and mope about it or you can go ahead and take action and pivot around it,” Kato Karate owner Tim Flynn said.

Minnesota’s new COVID-19 restrictions make many business owners feel like they’re in March again.

Many businesses around the area are feeling the brunt of the dial-back.

“It wasn’t totally unexpected, but we’re in a tough spot right now,” NaKato Bar & Grill owner Jim Downs said.

Like Kato Karate, it falls under the nonessential business category and has been put on pause for the time being, but is trying to make the best of the situation.

Flynn is using the knowledge he developed from the first dial back this time around.

“Fifty years ago, we didn’t have Zoom, I get that. We have Zoom, we have the tools, let’s invest a couple of bucks a day for this technology. Let’s be there for our kids,” Flynn said.

Flynn is utilizing Zoom in a unique way. He is teaching karate lessons to his students virtually.

As for Downs, using Zoom, or any other digital product, isn’t possible to help his business. He has to rely on loyal customers.

“Our customers are just awesome. I mean, they have been there for us this first round, they have been there with us the entire time. I expect that to hold up going into this season as well,” Downs said.

NaKato will revert to the takeout and delivery services that once were in place at the beginning of the pandemic.

It is not a situation that many business owners across the state want to be in, but they are adapting to the new normal, all while keeping everyone safe.

“It’s very much of a wishful, hopeful situation for all of us. That’s what will happen, it’s the only way that we can exist and if that is the situation then we will push on through,” Downs said.

Health officials reported 7,877 new COVID-19 cases in Minnesota Thursday, in addition to 72 reported deaths.

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