As Gov. Walz begins small business listening tour, Stillwater owners ask him to ease capacity restrictions



a group of people standing in front of a store: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, gesturing, speaks with small business owner Kristy Zimmerman and her husband, Jake, about the challenging business environment during the Covid-19 pandemic at the Uptown Curl hair salon in Stillwater, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. At left is DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)


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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, gesturing, speaks with small business owner Kristy Zimmerman and her husband, Jake, about the challenging business environment during the Covid-19 pandemic at the Uptown Curl hair salon in Stillwater, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. At left is DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. (Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Kristy Zimmerman had to shutter her Uptown Curl hair salons in Stillwater and Minneapolis. They remained closed for 2½ months.

“It was pretty awful,” Zimmerman said. “The bills were still due, and I wasn’t getting unemployment. It took about eight weeks to get unemployment. I had some savings, thankfully, but that was really hard.”

Since June 1, Zimmerman’s salon in Stillwater has been back in business, but operating at 50 percent capacity. Her Uptown Minneapolis salon opened a week later due to the protests and unrest in

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