By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The effects of the pandemic are impacting downtown Minneapolis businesses beyond just at the street level.

Nine and a half miles of Skyway are feeling the slowdown, including Juut Salon.

David Wagner, Juut’s owner, says business is down 75 percent.

He says staff members will be transferring to other Juut locations next month.

“It’s saddening because we’ve got such a team here,” Wagner said. “They’re a family. They’ve been coming to work every day for 20 years some of them.”

Wagner says his customers simply aren’t around to stop in anymore.

“It becomes a destination,” he said. “It’s an inconvenience for them to come downtown now because they’re not working downtown.”

Steve Cramer, the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, says only 15% of the typical workforce population works downtown right now.

Several businesses in the Skyway are closed at least temporarily due to COVID-19. Cramer couldn’t specify how many.

“We probably will see a few less of those establishments when things kind of bounce back, but when things bounce back, that will create new opportunities for growth so we’re looking for that hopeful day as well,” Cramer said.

Wagner’s not giving up on the part of the city he says has a vital, creative energy.

“We’ll be back,” he said. “I am confident.”

For now, Wagner says the employees who have already moved to other Juut salons are three times as busy as they were in the Skyway.

Hundreds of Skyway businesses remain open. Click here to see which ones you can still visit.

David Schuman

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