Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Slowly but surely, Minnesota is joining other states in easing the COVID-19 restrictions that were ordered by Gov. Walz in March.

The governor has authorized the reopening of most businesses next Wednesday at 25-percent to 50-percent capacity.

But some businesses aren’t exactly setting off fireworks.

Rochester businessman Joe Powers isn’t as angry as he was when the governor recently approved only outdoor seating for restaurants. Powers says the governor “reneged” on an earlier assurance they could reopen June 1st with 25-percent indoor capacity.

Powers says Friday’s decision “is a step in the right direction” but he questions why it took so long to allow businesses to reopen. Powers expects the partial return to indoor service will result in 60-percent of his pre-coronavirus revenue. He hopes businesses will be allowed to resume 100-percent service by the end of July.

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association issued this response to the governor’s announcement:

Bars and restaurants have been saying over and over: we are ready and eager to safely re-open and serve customers. The MLBA is going to continue working with the Governor’s team as a strong advocate and resource to get businesses fully re-opened as soon as possible, just like other retailers in Minnesota.”

(The MLBA represents Minnesota’s small, family-owned liquor retailers, both on-sale (of bars and restaurants) and off-sale (at liquor stores)).

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