Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism CEO/President Nort Johnson told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today he agrees with State Senator John Jasinski's statement regarding opening businesses.

District 25 Senator Jasinski of Faribault released a statement Tuesday saying in part, "I have no doubt Governor Walz's heart was in the right place when he made the decision to close all but non-essential businesses, but with an unheard-of situation like this it is important to reevaluate decisions often.  After nearly three weeks, it's clear this decision should be adjusted."

Jasinski also says, "We aren't saying let's flip the switch on and go back to normal tomorrow.  All we are saying is if a business has a responsible plan to operate while protecting the health of their staff and customers, let's let them.  Every day we wait puts more businesses and more workers at risk."

After hearing the statement Johnson stated. "I agree completely with that statement Gordy.  There is absolutely a large number of businesses that have plans in place and can function very safely within the guidelines.  Just like John, I absolutely don't want anybody to create any sort of a risk situation. But this blanked shutdown has impacted many Faribault businesses quite negatively.

"These small businesses are the backbone of our economy.  In the past week I've talked with dozens of businesses.  Some absolutely can't do what they do because of the very specific physical nature of their engagement with their customers. But so many of them can safely conduct their business and they should be allowed to do so.

"I think one of the unspoken issues with businesses not being allowed to open up that can and are able to again function safely is able to gain their own economy within their business.  In other words, get their cash flow going again.  So what we're doing is, in many instances is we're replacing what could be genuine trade, commerce and economy with taxpayer funded cash flow and that's dangerous.

"It's drawing down on our resources at the state and federal levels.  Again absolutely in no way do I want people to proceed where the CDC guidelines say they can't function safely.  Nobody wants that.

"The blanket shutdown without allowing those that can function safely and reenter the economy to help give this a boost, that's very dangerous.  The longer we delay those that can safely get to work, the longer and more harsh this recovery is going to be.

Undoubtedly there will be businesses unable to survive this long of a shutdown and Johnson says, "I've had tearful conversations with businesses who have called.  We've connected them with as much help as we can.  Some of them are also in this twilight zone.  Many can access the programs but others are not allowed to operate and because of specific exclusion from accessing some of the loans and grant programs they can't access that either.

The Chamber Executive encouraged people to use some portion of their federal stimulus check to assist businesses saying, "I've heard a lot of comments from people that say don't give me the stimulus check, I want my friends' business to stay open.  So I'm challenging everybody in Faribault that is getting a stimulus check to allocate part of that for local spending.

"To those businesses that are having a tough time.  Take am opportunity to perhaps buy some gift certificates online with that check. Take an opportunity to tuck that away so that when local businesses do open back up you can get out there and support them.  In the matter that you can.  I know not everybody can't allocate those funds.  They need them to keep lights on, etcetera.  But for those that can please do your best. Do your very best to allocate some dollars to spend with your favorite local businesses.  Because we want Faribault to stay open.  We want to have a strong recovery.

Johnson also thanked 10,000 Drops for bottling hand sanitizer, Faribault Ace Hardware for handing out over 300 free masks last Saturday in their parking lot and KDHL/POWER 96 Radio for announcing the free mask giveaway.

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