MLBA in the News re: New Executive Order

Here are 26 links to quotes from MLBA regarding Executive Order 20-99 shutting down dine-in service for restaurants and bars.

From 11/20/20

MN hospitality industry demands relief ahead of 4-week shutdown
Industry leaders warn restaurants will close, thousands will be unemployed without assistance.
Bring Me The News – 11/20/20

The state’s hospitality industry is also calling on the state and federal government to support workers and small businesses. 

The MLBA, Hospitality Minnesota, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild and the Minnesota Events Coalition sent a letter to Walz on Thursday with ideas for emergency relief, saying “there are grave concerns that many businesses will not survive” the next four weeks. 

“Hospitality businesses and their workers – already on the financial precipice – are at the center of these new state closures and limitations and the financial devastation that is ripping the industry apart,” the letter reads. “The hospitality industry is a key driver of economic activity and tax revenue, supporting 1 in 10 jobs in Minnesota. It cannot be allowed to collapse.”

The letter says more than half of all of Minnesota’s restaurants face permanent closure. Meanwhile, the sector has lost 80,000 jobs and is projected to lose another 70,000 “in short order if no action is taken.”

The groups urge Walz to fight for a comprehensive plan to specifically help the hospitality industry. Among their suggestions, based on the needs from their member businesses:

  • Targeting relief to “distressed” hospitality businesses (those that have experienced a 35% reduction in sales).

  • Establishing a $200 million emergency grant fund to help businesses pay rent, taxes, insurance, etc.

  • Expanding DEED’s no-interest loan program.

  • Offering targeted sales tax forgiveness, property tax reductions, and waiving state and local regulatory fees.

  • Freezing commercial evictions on hospitality tenants.

Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) Director Tony Chesak said in a statement earlier this week that this four-week shutdown of in-person dining will be “devastating” on the industry. “It will most certainly mean significantly increased unemployment and further permanent loss of our bars and restaurants across Minnesota,” Chesak said. “The hospitality industry has shifted heavily to protect both staff and patrons and is still barely afloat. The short timeline we are now given for indoor closure will also result in unused inventory left to perish and leave small businesses further in the red.”


COVID Restrictions (MN): Hospitality Groups Urge Gov. Walz For Emergency Relief
From: WCCO 4

 

Minnesota hospitality group asks governor for immediate financial assistance ahead of 4-week shutdown
From: Fox 9


Amid New Restrictions, Hospitality Industry Calls For Financial Relief
From: 
Twin Cities Business

Stories From 11/19/20 and 11/18/20

Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association Reacts To New Executive Order
KNSI Radio  
11/19/2020

Tony Chesak, Executive Director of the MLBA says this week has been the most chaotic in recent history for on sale restaurants. He says the announcement gives restaurants only 48 hours to liquidate their food and beverage inventories and puts them at even greater risk of closure by not allowing businesses enough time to plan and calls the move wrong. He says the MLBA will demand allowance for members to sell off what they have to minimize devastation.

He is also quite upset there are no clear plans for unemployment, state, or federal funding or any financial aid coming in the next month. Governor Walz said in his address Wednesday evening that he has allocated $10 million in Small Business Grants for businesses affected by COVID-19, but Walz implored the federal government to step in and help.

Today, his office released a letter he sent to leaders in Congress asking them to pass another COVID relief package.


Walz’s restrictions ‘heartbreaking’ for bars and restaurants
9PM news 11/18/20, KVVR Fargo Moorhead

“The closing announcement for indoor service for the next month is heartbreaking and the impact is going to be devastating,” said Leslie Rosedahl, the communications director for the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association.

The MLBA is frustrated by these blanket regulations and the short notice that businesses were given since the restrictions take effect in just two days. “Bars and restaurants not only schedule staff, but they also have perishable food items. Even beer is perishable,” Rosedahl said. “Having all this product is expensive and, most likely, is not going to be able to sell.”

The waste of perishable stock is just a short term effect of these restrictions. The long
term strain is even more damning. “Already margins over the past month have been extremely tight. The most optimistic view we have gotten is that restaurants are operating at 20% of what they did before. This will push it down to 5-10%. That is not sustainable,” Rosedahl explained.

Along with increasing unemployment, the MLBA is expecting this to lead to a high rate of closures. “It is estimated in the industry that 40% of bars and restaurants will close due to the COVID pandemic regulations,” Rosedahl said.

The MLBA is asking that the same state leaders that made these restrictions take steps to help these businesses. They are calling for relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance and loans.


New Dilworth bar and grill forced to close just weeks after opening under governor’s restrictions.
InForum – 11/18/20

The Silver Spike Bar & Grill broke ground before the pandemic reached the U.S. They just opened September 17.

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association said they have had discussions with Walz, but no discussions with them happened before Walz announced these new restrictions. “There have not been a lot (of) exceptions or details thought through yet because it’s happening so quickly,” said Leslie Rosedahl, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association.


Restaurants re-think Thanksgiving plans as Minnesota announces new COVID-19 restrictions
Fox 9 – 2:19 min segment, 7:30PM news 11/18/20

The head of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association says: “It will most certainly mean significantly increased unemployment and further permanent loss of our bars and restaurants across Minnesota.”


Walz: ‘We are at a breaking point.’
Restaurant and bar owners expressed frustration that they are being cast off without a net — and with short warning.
Pioneer Press – 11/18/20

“Today’s news is heartbreaking, and the impact will be devastating,” said Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association. “It will most certainly mean significant increased unemployment and further permanent loss of our bars and restaurants across Minnesota. … The short timeline we are now given for indoor closure will also result in unused inventory left to perish and leave small businesses further in the red.”

Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, a former restaurant owner, called on Walz to allow more flexibility for carry-out liquor.


Associated Press story
Reprinted 11/19/20, Sun ThisWeek Apple Valley / Burnsville area; Fox 47 Madison

Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, which represents bars and restaurants that serve liquor, predicted a “devastating” further permanent loss of places to eat and drink. “The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality industry with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter,” Chesak said in a statement.

From Friday, 11/18/2020

Minnesota shuts more businesses as COVID-19 spread soars — Associated Press (story reprinted widely, including Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Elk River Star News, and more) 11/18/20

Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, which represents bars and restaurants that serve liquor, predicted a “devastating” further permanent loss of places to eat and drink.

“The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality industry with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter,” Chesak said in a statement.


Walz announces 4-week closure for bars, restaurants, gyms: ‘Much has been asked of you. And I need to ask a little more.’ — Forum News (story published in Rochester Post BulletinDuluth News Tribune, Brainerd Dispatch, Republican Eagle Rivertowns.net, Grand Forks Herald, Fargo-Moorhead InForum, West Central Tribune) 11/18/20

Health care groups threw their support behind the new restrictions while hospitality groups said they would throw in the industry ‘off a cliff.’

…The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association said the move would devastate business owners around the state who would struggle to survive financially on takeout orders alone.

“Bars and restaurant leaders and staff are heading into a bleak holiday season with little to no support from our elected leaders,” MLBA Executive Director Tony Chesak said. “The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality industry with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter.”


Walz announces four-week dial back plan pausing in-person dining, gyms, social gatherings — KARE 11 – 11/18/20 https://www.kare11.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/walz-to-announcement-new-covid-restrictions-on-sports-dining-fitness/89-2da8abe0-ff44-4ecd-aedf-516d5f96be11

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association also weighed in on the anticipated restrictions for bars and restaurants, calling the news of Walz’s action “heartbreaking.”

“It will most certainly mean significant increased unemployment and further permanent loss of our bars and restaurants across Minnesota,” said MLBA Executive Director Tony Chesak. “Bars and restaurant leaders and staff are heading into a bleak holiday season with little to no support from our elected leaders. The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality industry with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter. ‘In this together’ can’t be merely a slogan or our state will see devastating economic fallout on the other end of the pandemic.”


Minn. COVID-19 restrictions: Gov. Walz closes bars, restaurants, prohibits social gatherings — St. Cloud Times – 11/18/20 https://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2020/11/18/minnesota-mn-covid-restrictions-tim-walz-order-bars-restaurants-closing/6332916002/

In response to the new restrictions, Tony Chesak, Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association executive director, said the decision will mean increased unemployment and further loss of dining businesses.

“Today’s news is heartbreaking, and the impact will be devastating,” Chesak said in a release.

“Bars and restaurant leaders and staff are heading into a bleak holiday season with little to no support from our elected leaders,” according to Chesak. “The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality industry with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter.”

Chesak also encouraged Minnesotans to support small businesses by purchasing take-out and gift cards whenever possible.


Gov. Walz to announce second lockdown; beverage group says impact will be ‘devastating’ — The Center Square | Minnesota – 11/18/20 https://www.thecentersquare.com/minnesota/gov-walz-to-announce-second-lockdown-beverage-group-says-impact-will-be-devastating/article_6108527a-29cc-11eb-a08e-5bb0ca4b9973.html

Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Tony Chesak called the news “heartbreaking,” noting the imminent rise in unemployment and permanently closed bars and restaurants.

“The hospitality industry has shifted and invested heavily to protect both staff and patrons, and is still barely afloat,” Chesak said. “The short timeline we are now given for indoor closure will also result in unused inventory left to perish and leave small businesses further in the red.”

Chesak called for state and federal aid for restaurant owners and staff as the restrictions will stretch over Thanksgiving.

“The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality industry with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter,” Chesak said in a statement. “‘In this together’ can’t be merely a slogan or our state will see devastating economic fallout on the other end of this pandemic.”

 “We strongly encourage Minnesotans to support small businesses by purchasing take-out and gift cards whenever possible.”


Gov. Walz confirms 4-week shutdown of dining, gyms, gatherings, weddings — Bring Me The News – 11/18/20 https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/gov-walz-confirms-4-week-shutdown-of-dining-gyms-gatherings-weddings

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association issued a statement saying the shutdown will lead to a loss of jobs and the permanent shutdown of restaurants and bars that have already been hit by the pandemic.

“The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter,” it said.

It also called on Minnesotans to support restaurants and bars by buying takeout and gift cards over the next month.

 


Local owners, managers devastated by upcoming closures — Mankato Free Press – 11/18/20 https://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/local_news/local-owners-managers-devastated-by-upcoming-closures/article_d4eb0ac0-299a-11eb-b7f5-4fcaf92e3a89.html

Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, issued a statement saying the news was “heartbreaking” for an industry that “is still barely afloat.”

He said the impact will be devastating. “It will most certainly mean significant increased unemployment and further permanent loss of our bars and restaurants across Minnesota.”

Chesak said ordering the closure in just a few days will also result in unused inventory left to perish.

“Bars and restaurant leaders and staff are heading into a bleak holiday season with little to no support from our elected leaders. The state and federal government both need to take steps to aid employees and the hospitality industry with relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance, and loans to get through this dark winter.”

He encourages people to support small businesses by purchasing take-out and gift cards whenever possible.


Isle Muni shuts down until April — Mille Lacs Messenger – 11/18/20
https://www.messagemedia.co/millelacs/news/local/isle-muni-shuts-down-until-april/article_2c75cb38-28ea-11eb-91bd-5f1d49f14bb1.html

A trade group that represents bars, restaurants and liquor stores was quick to criticize the new restrictions.

“Unfairly singling out every bar and every restaurant in Minnesota is not a scalpel – it’s a hatchet targeting one of Minnesota’s hardest hit industries this year … These new blanket rules across the state will cause more businesses to close, leaving more people unemployed and unable to support their families,” Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, said in a statement.


COVID-19: Hennepin County Board approves $8M to help bars, restaurants — Bring Me The News – 11/18/20 https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/covid-19-hennepin-county-board-approves-8m-to-help-bars-restaurants

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association noted earlier this month that bars and restaurants are associated with 2% of COVID-19 cases in the state.

With additional restrictions on bars and restaurants expected this week, more businesses could be forced to close their doors for good, industry leaders have warned.