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Small businesses react to Minnesota mask mandate

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STEWARTVILLE, Minn. (KTTC) -- Under Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's new mask mandate set to take effect on Saturday, businesses are now going to be the ones in charge of making sure customers are masked. If they don't, they can face fines or potentially even jail time.

"People still like to come in here without their masks but in order to properly comply and keep our license and continue to be open and serve people I think we're going to have to abide by it," said Seth Stier, The DU Bar & Grill owner.

Wednesday's announcement didn't shock the businesses we spoke with.

"I kind of figured it was going to happen by the language that Tim was saying over the last week and a half," said Stier.

"Do I like it? No," said Wendy Meyerhoffer, Shear Perfections owner. "But I have to wear it in here for the most part so yeah, I have to do it."

Other businesses say they won't be wearing masks and the decision to wear one should be up to the customer. Catch My Thrift owner Betty McClullen said her store has more than enough space to keep everyone socially distant since foot traffic can be light.

"I feel we're all adults and we can take care of our own health. And I provide wipes for my carts and I provide hand sanitizers and like I said, I don't have people crowded in here," McClullen says.

The state has a plan to hand out 4 million facemasks to businesses that need them. If a customer refuses to wear a mask, businesses will have to make a hard decision about turning them away.

"Then I'm going to have to turn people away. And that, I'm not willing to do," said Meyerhoffer.

Zach Fuller

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