Bemidji Officials and Business Owners Discuss Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order
Bemidji officials and area business owners held a meeting to answer questions and clarify information following the Governor’s Executive Order 20-33.
The City of Bemidji, Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Bemidji, and several Bemidji area business owners met on Wednesday, April 22nd to discuss the Governor’s current Executive Order that requires the closure of bars, restaurants and other places of public accommodation.
City police have advised several businesses that they had to close because they were not classified as essential businesses under the Governor’s Stay Home Order. Since both the chamber and the city have received calls and questions about which businesses can be open, officials decided it was best to hold a meeting over the phone to provide information and answer questions.
“We are not out looking to see who is open,” said Bemidji City Police Chief Mike Mastin. “We are following up on reports and complaints that we receive and focusing on education with the business community,” said Mastin. Chief Mastin provided information from the Governor’s Executive Order 20-33 and the Critical Sector Descriptions Clarifications.
Based on executive order clarifications, Chief Mastin and Assistant City Attorney Katie Nolting clarified that all businesses in the city can do online sales with curbside pickup, but non-essential businesses are not allowed to have customers inside their stores. Businesses are encouraged to continue following CDC guidelines, and employees should wear appropriate PPE when delivering goods curbside. Business owners and workers are to always keep at least six feet of distance from one another.
“Our Main Street businesses are essential to our community,” said Mayor Rita Albrecht. “Some of the directives from the state have been confusing and it can be challenging to keep up with changes. The city will continue to provide information and connect businesses with resources as best we can,” said Albrecht
“Our goal is to have a thriving business community in Bemidji while also ensuring the safety of our citizens, visitors and employees,” said Mastin.