Rochester, MN (KROC News) - Rochester businesses who are or will be feeling the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were on the minds of Rochester City Councilmembers Monday. The council discussed ways the city could lend a helping hand.


And at the end of the discussion, there came a very poignant moment.

"Owning a small business, my business is already affected by this," Sixth ward representative Annalissa Johnson said. Johnson is the owner of a local dog training and boarding facility Good Dog Camp.

Speaking passionately, Johnson had a tough time holding back her emotions as she continued, "Other small businesses... I'm gonna cry, guys... other small businesses are affected by this, and that's not just the business itself, it's the employees, and those are people who live paycheck to paycheck to paycheck. Those people that we hire every single day who aren't going to be able to afford groceries three weeks from now or six weeks from now, I think those are the people that we need to look out for."

The council approved new funding for two initiatives and a plan to allow businesses to pay for city-issued licenses through installment payments instead of an upfront fee.

This is one example of how our local leaders are truly being responsive to the coronavirus pandemic. All community leaders we have had interactions with tghe past week have been working nonstop to stay on top of the situation and keep citizens safe and informed.They are meeting constantly with their staffs and others and have already implemented a number of initiatives with more on the way.

They may not be able to stop the virus or prevent many of us from becoming infected but they can't be faulted for not giving it their all - and then some.

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