Reader Opinion: City leadership comes through


On March 17, Governor Walz shut down non-essential businesses, including the bar I own, 9th Street Social Club, which is in downtown Brainerd. The uncertainty that ensued and the continued extension of the shutdown had financial consequences and caused a great deal of stress for myself as well as others. There was one bright spot in this lockdown, and that was the response by the city council and Mayor Dave Badeaux.

The governor allowed the opening of outdoor service on June 1 for businesses with patios. The city response was to look at ways involving the outside of businesses that did not have a patio in place. They allowed for requests for expansion outside, and allowed the use of parking spots on their streets. That allowed an option to open if it worked for individual businesses. A progressive process rather than doing nothing for those that didn’t have outdoor areas of dining. Kudos!

Regarding our liquor license fees, the council and mayor once again made human decisions, allowed for a prorated portion of our annual bill, an extension to pay the discounted bill, in order to have revenue coming in so we could make up for almost three months of no income. Once again, a very forward thinking process to help our town's businesses.

Lastly the city had grant money Brainerd businesses were able to apply for, individually, in the amount of $3,000! I was fortunate my business received the grant, and it was used quickly to pay bills and help with the opening process.

What a pleasure in very dark times to have city leadership come to the aid with ideas, thoughtful license fees and a grant that helped me as well as others be able to open back up and feel some kind of “normal."


Kindest regards to the entire council and to Mayor Badeaux.

Rob Lewis

9th Street Social Club

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