At the end of February many Minnesota restaurants and hospitality businesses complained that they couldn’t find enough workers to fill open jobs. The issue had been plaguing nearly every industry for several years.
Ben Wogsland, director of government relations for Hospitality Minnesota, said at the time:
“Workforce is issue No. 1, 2, and 3 across all three hospitality sectors we represent [restaurants, lodging, and resorts], with some estimates projecting a need to add tens of thousands more good-paying jobs to these sectors in the next decade.”
But on March 16, Gov. Tim Walz ordered bars and restaurants across the state to close, including those located in hotels and resorts, as part of the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Suddenly, the world turned upside down. Instead of looking for workers, shuttered restaurants began laying off entire staffs. Numerous retailers followed suit. The plea for government help to salve the pain started almost immediately.
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