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Business owners uncertain about relief aid during stay-at-home order

Miguel Octavio
Created: April 08, 2020 10:50 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- While some business owners agree with state orders aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19, some remain fearful they won't get the relief they need. 

Among them is Tanya Sutherland, co-owner of the Studio 507 salon in Rochester. She's lost all sources of income since nonessential businesses have been forced to close. 
 
“It’s sad because we’ve worked so hard for it," Sutherland said.

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Sutherland said she hasn't received state unemployment aid and call lines to reach relief resources have been too busy.

Wait times are about 62 minutes and at least 6,000 calls are taken by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development each day, according to Commissioner Steve Grove.

But it's not just the loss of money that's hurting Sutherland, it's not seeing her colleagues and clients. 

“We’re just a big family," Sutherland said. "We just enjoy everybody when we’re there so I really miss that."

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said extending the stay-at-home order until May 4 will significantly slow the spread of COVID-19 and may push out the disease's peak to July.
 
Walz stressed the efforts Minnesotans have made to social distance has bought the hospitals statewide time to add PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) and ICU capacity. 

“I will not sacrifice the health of Minnesotans and the gains that we’ve made," Walz said during his announcement. 
 
Businesses like Danielle David's consignment boutique store has had to rely on sales online to survive. She said she's lucky she can still gain some revenue amid closures.
 
“It’s really sad how there are many, many other businesses that just are not going to weather this storm," David said.

While Sutherland doesn't have alternate means of income like some businesses, she said her family, especially her son keeps her optimistic.
 
"He's my shining armor. He keeps me busy," Sutherland said. 

Reminding herself of what she still has during uncertain times. 
 


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