100% for the growth of retail and Minnesota's economy.

  • Safe Holiday Shopping

    Check out these six safe holiday shopping tips!

    Shop safe and smart this holiday season. Together we can keep Minnesota moving forward!

    Watch now!

  • Think You Know Retail In Minnesota?

    Meet Minnesota's Retail Champions

    Retail in Minnesota is so much more than inventory and cash registers. Watch this video to get a glimpse in to retail across Minnesota!

    Watch now!

COVID-19 Resources for Retailers

A strong retail community is important during all seasons, but especially in times of uncertainty such as the conditions surrounding COVID-19. Below are resources for retailers.

(Updated January 6, 2021, 2:42 p.m.)

RetailingInCovid19   BestPracticesCurbside BestPracticesInStore criticalnextsteps1

Looking for the guide to re-open your retail store or customer facing business? Click here! Now added: 30 minute webinar.


January 6: Restaurants & Bars Indoor Service Opens At 50% Capacity This Coming Monday; Indoor Entertainment Reopens + Other Dial Turns

At a press conference going on now, Governor Walz is announcing the loosening of restrictions including restaurants and bars opening for in-person indoor service at 50% capacity (150 people maximum both indoor and outdoor, 6 people per table maximum) starting on January 11. Bar seating will be open for parties of 2 people with 6 feet of spacing. Reservations are still required and the 10:00 p.m.-4:00 a.m. closure for restaurants and bars will remain in place. Mall food courts following restaurant and bar guidance may open.

Other measures being announced this afternoon beginning January 11 include:

  • Gyms will remain at 25% capacity, but the maximum is increased to 150 people. Masking is still required as well as 9 feet of social distancing. Fitness classes must not have more than 25 people.
  • Indoor entertainment and events open to 25% capacity with a maximum of 150 people. This includes movie theaters, bowling alleys, and amusement. Face coverings are required and food service may not be offered after 10:00 p.m.
  • Outdoor events and entertainment will remain at 25% capacity, but the maximum is increased to 250 people. Social distancing is required.
  • Churches remain open at 50% capacity but with no maximum.
  • Pools may open at 25% capacity with a maximum of 150 people
  • Youth sports games may resume on January 14. Spectators are allowed at youth/high school sports with a 25% capacity and a maximum of 250 people outdoor or 150 people indoor. Masks are still required. Inter-region tournaments and out of state play is discouraged.

General retail remains open at 100% with COVID precautions including social distancing.

Click to see the updated capacity limits.


December 16: Restaurants & Bars Remain Closed For Indoor Dining Until January 11; Outdoor Dining Permitted; Gyms Open at 25%; Youth And Adult Sports Practices Resume January 4; Updates On Other Restrictions

In a press conference a few moments, Governor Walz extended his order for restaurants and bars closures for indoor, in-person dining until January 11. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to open outdoor seating starting the Saturday at 50% capacity (100 maximum, 4 people per table all seated). Other limits on outdoor dining include that outdoor shelters cannot be fully enclosed and restaurants and bars must close for outdoor dining between 10:00 pm and 4:00 a.m.

Other measures announced this afternoon:

  • Social gatherings indoors will be limited to 2 households with a maximum of 10 people. Social gatherings outdoor will be limited to 3 households with a maximum of 15 people.
  • Gyms, fitness centers and similar establishments can open at 25% capacity with masking with a maximum of 100 people starting Saturday. There must be 12 feet of social distancing and no group fitness classes until January 4. Pools remain closed.
  • Organized youth and high school sports are able to resume practices on January 4. Games are not able to resume.
  • Outdoor entertainment such as public skating rinks can open to 25% capacity up to 100 people with 6 feet social distancing.
  • Indoor entertainment will remain closed until January 11
  • Entertainment venues such as movie theaters, bowling alleys, etc. will remain closed.
  • In-person learning at elementary schools can reopen January 18 (hybrid or in-person) with mandated masking and COVID testing. The testing will be supported by the State with funding request that is heading to the Legislature.

General retail remains open at 100% with COVID precautions including social distancing.

Click to see the updated capacity limits.

Click here to see the Executive Order.

December 14: Important Relief For Businesses Impacted By Restrictions Under Executive Order 20-99 & Other COVID-19 Executive Orders + Unemployment Extension Passed By The Legislature

This evening during its seventh special session, Minnesota's Legislature passed relief for businesses impacted by Executive Order 20-99 and other COVID-19 executive orders as well as relief for Minnesotans with unemployment benefits set to expire soon.

Here is a summary of what passed in the $216.8 million business relief package:

  • $88 million to businesses closed to the public under Executive Order 20-99 and experiencing at least a 30% sales decline (compared to 2019) that provide on-site food and beverages including bars, restaurants, breweries and wineries as well as bowling alleys and fitness or sports recreation centers. Relief amounts ($10,000 - $45,000) will be based on number of workers and be administered directly by the Minnesota Department of Revenue with distribution as soon as possible.
  • $114.8 million directly to Minnesota counties for grants to eligible businesses and nonprofits impacted by any executive order related to COVID-19. Each county would receive a minimum of $256,250 or $19.25 per capita amount based on its 2019 population. Each Minnesota county will administer these relief funds including making eligibility decisions and can add their own eligibility requirements with disbursement of funds by March 13, 2021.
  • $14 million for movie theaters and multipurpose convention centers with a capacity of at least 1,500 people. A per screen formula will be used to help movie theaters and several factors would be considered for convention center allocations. This relief will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Today's action also included important unemployment support for Minnesota's workers, including:

  • An extension of unemployment benefits for individuals who exhaust their regular or pandemic unemployment benefits between December 19, 2020 and April 3, 2021 if an individual is eligible to receive additional unemployment benefits.
  • Eligibility includes Minnesotans unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work due to lack of work and meet the requirements for regular unemployment benefits established in Minnesota Statutes.

Click here to see the text of the bill. It is expected that the Governor will sign the bill as soon as tomorrow.

There are many legislators who are due credit for championing this important relief package, and MnRA extends a special thank you to Sen. Eric Pratt and Rep. Tim Mahoney for their commitment to passing this package.

MnRA appreciates the leadership of the Legislature and Governor Walz, and his team, on this needed relief package which includes provisions advocated for by MnRA and many others.


November 18: Restaurants/Bars/Food Courts To Stop In-Person Service Beginning 11:59 P.M. Friday; Youth & Adult Sports Take a Pause; New Event, Entertainment & Social Gathering Restrictions

 At a press conference this evening, Governor Walz announced many changes he said are designed to address the alarming number of COVID cases in Minnesota and concerns over healthcare capacity.
 
The Governor is ordering restaurants and bars to be closed for in-person service (both indoor and outdoor) for four weeks until December 18 beginning this Friday at 11:59 p.m. Establishments may remain open for takeout. Food courts in malls will also be closed for in-person service for four weeks. Food courts may remain open for takeout, but the food cannot be consumed at the mall.
 
Other measures announced this evening:
  • Social gatherings will be limited to your own household (both indoor and outdoor) beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
  • Gyms, fitness centers and similar establishments will be closed for four weeks beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
  • Entertainment venues and indoor/outdoor seated venues will be closed for four weeks, including bowling alleys, movie theaters, indoor ice rinks, live performance venues, public pools, and swim parks beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
  • Organized youth and adult sports will be pausing for four weeks. College and professional sports may continue without spectators beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
  • Indoor recreation facilities will be closed for four weeks beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
  • Events such as celebrations, receptions and private parties will be paused for four weeks beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m. Religious ceremonies and services may continue.
 The Governor also is recommending and discouraging out of state travel, including asking out of state visitors and traveling Minnesotans to quarantine for 14 days.
 
The following remain open and unchanged:
  • General retail open at 100% with COVID precautions including social distancing.
  • Churches and worship centers remain open at 50% capacity.
  • Salons and other personal care services remain open at 50% capacity.
  • Outdoor recreation such as skating and skiing remain open.
  • Schools continue to operate under the Safe Learning Plan at the discretion of local school districts.
  • Child care providers can remain open.
  • Colleges and universities continue to operate under guidance from the State.
 No additional state funding for impacted businesses was announced today. Governor Walz has made an appeal to Congress for immediate funding for all the states.
 

November 10: Retail Capacity Clarified At 100% Capacity With COVID Safety Precautions; Restaurants & Bars To Stop In-Person Service At 10 P.M.; New Wedding & Event Restrictions

Today the Walz administration clarified in guidance documents that retailers subject to the 50 percent capacity limitation may now operate at 100 percent capacity under COVID safety precautions. This move recognizes the short time customers are in retail stores and how the industry has created safe shopping environments for customers and employees. This announcement is welcomed by the vast majority of retailers who recently told MnRA that absent a capacity increase, their viability was in question as the holidays approach.

MnRA extends a special thank you to Representatives Heather Edelson, Jeff Brand, Dave Lislegard, Kristin Robbins, and Dave Baker for their work with the administration on clarifying retail capacity. Also, thank you to the Minnesota Ready Coalition for its advocacy on changing retail capacity.

While retailers may be open at 100 percent, MnRA encourages all retailers to ensure occupancy levels allow for proper social distancing and continue to follow the State's retail industry guidance.

The guidance has been updated on the DEED website: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/stay-safe-mn/stay-safe-plan.jsp and https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/business/

MnRA thanks the administration for making this change in advance of the important holiday shopping season.

In-Person Restaurant & Bar Service To Stop At 10:00 P.M. Beginning Friday, November 13

At a press conference today, Governor Walz announced several changes he said are designed to address rising COVID case numbers. In addition to more testing sites, the Governor is ordering restaurants across the to stop in-person service at 10:00 p.m. The Governor said that cases linked to restaurants and bars after 10:00 p.m. are large in number. In addition there are new limits on games such as pool and darts (no bar games that require standing are permitted), and bar/counter service is closed.

In addition, weddings and related events are dialed back to 50 people on November 27 and 25 people after December 11. Also private gatherings are limited to 10 people from no more than three households. Overall events currently at 250 capacity will be dialed back to 150.

Click here to see the Executive Order.

Proposed Small Business Support

The Governor also proposed $10 million in additional funding for business relief, targeted toward restaurants and bars impacted by today’s changes. According to the Governor this will help 1,000 more businesses pay bills and pay workers.


July 22: Statewide Mask Mandate Effective July 25

Today Governor Walz announced Executive Order 20-81. This order requires face coverings in indoor spaces and public buildings including retail stores, and in similar outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible. This mandate will go into effect on July 25.

Signage will be required at retail stores. Retailers will be required to make a reasonable effort to educate non-compliant customers. Retailers will be required to deal with a non-compliant customers in a manner similar to how they would deal with any other non-compliant customers relative to store policy.

Any retailer or other impacted party that blatantly disregards the order will be subject to penalties including up to a $1,000 fine or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days.

Business obligations, what a face covering is, and exemptions can be found here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facecover.html

Impacted businesses are required to update their COVID-19 preparedness plan accordingly. Preparedness Plan Requirement Guidance for retail stores can be found here: https://mn.gov/deed/assets/reopening-minnesotas-consumer-facing-businesses_tcm1045-431883.pdf

Local orders that exceed the state order are not preempted, but an analysis by MnRA shows a majority of local masking requirements are superseded by the state order.

In summary, retailers are required to:

  1. Ensure workers and customers are masked.
  2. Update COVID-19 preparedness plans to reflect the masking requirement.
  3. Treat non-compliant customers as you would any other customer violating a store policy.
  4. Post signage indicating masking is required.

See MnRA's statement on the masking order here: https://www.mnretail.org/news/item/mn


July 8: Local Face Covering Requirements List

A Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) membership is good business.

MnRA tells your story every day for the betterment of the industry and provides you access to member benefits that simply cannot be efficiently accessed on your own.

Our Promise to the Retail Industry:

MnRA will save members time and money, while making Minnesota a stronger place for retailers to do business.

Mission:

The Mission of the Minnesota Retailers Association is to promote, preserve and enhance the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a significant leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact Members. MnRA will also work to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value and profitability to its members.

Vision:

The Minnesota Retailers Association is recognized as the most significant voice representing the retail industry in the public policy arena. Policy makers, community leaders, and valued stakeholders recognize the Association's critical role in shaping public policy important to the profitability of merchants across the state. MnRA's membership is diverse in size and geography. Members recognize that the Association adds value and profitability through its representation before public policy makers, its affinity programs, and as a spokesperson with the print and broadcast media.

MnRA works for every retailer!

Mainstreet Retailers

Mainstreet Retailers

From single store to multiples, MnRA's small business retail members use us to:
  • Stay up-to-date on new laws impacting retailers and consumers.
  • Learn about best practices.
  • Network with peers.
  • Connect with the suppliers offering special small business services.

Join now!

Regional Retailers

Regional Retailers

With a presence in the midwest or across the state, MnRA's regional retail members look to us for:
  • State and local legislative monitoring and engagement.
  • Industry PR efforts.
  • Connections with peers.
  • Effcient ways to connect with regulators and elected officials.

Join now!

National Retailers

National Retailers

Operating across the country, our national retailers count on us for:
  • Timely updates on local and state issues impacting consumers and retailers.
  • Opportunities to discuss their business model with regulators and elected officials.
  • Leadership opportunities.
  • Industry representation before media outlets.

Join now!

MnRA Staff & Resources

Bruce Nustad

Bruce Nustad

President

651-227-6631

Savannah Sepic

Savannah Sepic

Government Relations Manager

651-227-6631

Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting

Government Relations

Boulay

Bookkeeping Services

Where to find us....

The headquarters for MnRA is located in St. Paul, within close proximity to the State Capitol building.

A fee-based parking ramp is located below our office in the Securian Center.

Visitors check in at the security desk on the skyway (2) level.

Get our Monday retail industry newsletter.

Subscribe to MnRA's e-mail lists instantly by texting "MNRETAIL" to 22828 or provide your e-mail address below.

E-mail address:



Live Chat