ROCHESTER, Minn. -
Sarah Phelan is the co-owner of Fiddlehead Coffee Company. She expects her financial woes to last a long time.
"We're not anywhere near, I think our foot traffic is probably something like half of what it was," Phelan said. "That's just started to pick up a little bit in the last week."
Her difficulties are an example of why City Council voted to allocate money from the federal government to support local shops.
"There are small businesses out there today that are running at one quarter of their capacity, they are making one quarter of the revenue they were anticipating to make, per week," Annalissa Johnson said.
In an effort to come up with the funds to help businesses, Nick Campion proposed the Council reallocate money earmarked for the Mayo Civic Center to help small businesses. Patrick Keane voted "nay."
"The Civic Center is an expansion of the city, but it's privately run, people are running it as a business," Campion said. "And they came to us saying this would make our recovery better, having these things. I took that as an important investment that we should make in our Civic Center."
Ultimately - Keane was overruled.
"I don't think it's the best short-term investment with this dollar that's supposed to be about restarting and encouraging recovery," Campion said.
Phelan whoeheartedly endorses giving small businesses a shot in the arm.
"There's such a huge lack of income for so many people right now," Phelan said.
Council also approved allocating money to iniatives including the support of minority communities that have been impacted disproportionately by coronavirus. Overall - more than 8 million was appropriated to Rochester.