May 13, 2020
Governor Walz Re-Opens Retail May 18; Stay-At-Home Order Expiring
In an evening address Governor Walz announced a new State initiative that continues to foster social distancing called "Stay Safe Minnesota", replacing the expiring May 18 stay at home order. Stay Safe Minnesota asks people to stay close to home and limit nonessential travel and allows small gatherins of up to 10 people. The Governor stressed the need to continue to wear masks in public, social distance, and telework whenever possible.

In good news for consumers and retailers, retail stores including stores in malls/shopping centers can re-open to guests on May 18. MnRA appreciated the opportunity to work with the Administration and a retail roundtable workgroup to develop reopening guidance for retailers. That guidance can be found here: See below for MnRA's statement on re-opening retail stores.

Re-opening plans for salons, gyms, restaurants and related businesses are forthcoming with an anticipated opening date around June 1.

Executive Order 20-56 re-opening retailers May 18 has these requirements:
  • A COVID-19 preparedness plan (safety plan) addressing social distancing and safety must be crafted and available.
  • Retail stores and malls/shopping centers must not exceed 50 percent of their stated occupancy.
  • Drive-in movie theaters are open May 18.

Here is a summary of the Governor's Executive Orders announced this evening:

Minnesota Retailers Association President Bruce Nustad's Statement on Governor Walz's May 18 Re-Opening Of Retail

Retailers across and in each corner of the State welcome Governor Walz’s announcement this evening that customers can return to in-store shopping May 18 under social distancing best practices.
The safety of customers and workers in stores will be at the forefront of each transaction, and we know when stores re-open on or after May 18 they will be prepared and ready to welcome back customers.
The Minnesota Retailers Association has been working closely with a retail roundtable workgroup representing retailers, chambers of commerce, associations, local government and other stakeholders alongside DEED leadership over the past weeks. The resulting re-open plan puts safety standards in place while allowing retailers to adopt customized protocols based on store layout, type of business and customer flow. The industry’s re-open plan and best practices are drawn from federal, state and local guidance as well as learnings from retailers that have been operating during the pandemic.
We are grateful the Governor took this step today as this action is an important step balancing public health and economic health. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and his commissioners on the critical next steps for Minnesota’s retailers and consumers. 
Don't Miss Tomorrow's Free Re-Opening Retail Webinar: Learn What You Need To Do To Re-Open May 18
As Minnesota's retail stores and consumer-facing businesses get close to opening, now is the time to craft your safety plan.

On this webinar we'll walk through what a safety plan looks like, the requirements to re-open a store, best practices and how to tailor them to any environment, and how to communicate safety steps to consumers.

Thursday, May 14, 4:00 p.m.
MnRA's COVID-19 resource page for retailers updated daily at Visit the page for state and federal updates as well as links to resources.

As a reminder, MnRA offers a 30 minute call every Monday where we summarize bills and talk about the week ahead at the Legislature. Join us for those calls when you are able by RSVPing to Savannah Sepic at

* Publication note: Distribution of this issue of Retail At The Capitol has been expanded beyond our normal members-only distribution list given the importance of the updates surrounding COVID-19. If you do not normally get this publication and would like to contact us at .
MnRA's Government Relations Team
MnRA is proud to represent Minnesota's diverse and vital retail industry. Here is your team dedicated to helping you connect with elected officials and telling the story of retail:
Savannah Sepic
Government Relations Manager,
Minnesota Retailers Association
Tom Freeman
Government Relations Consultant,
Faegre Drinker
Bruce Nustad
Minnesota Retailers Association
Minnesota Retailers Association
400 Robert Street North, Suite 1540
St. Paul, MN 55101
Tel. (651) 227-6631
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