Minnesota Small Business Owner Hit with Lawsuit and Possible Jail Time for Defying COVID-19 Restrictions
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Strict lockdown measures have destroyed countless small businesses as COVID-19 cases surge. Small business owners don’t know how much longer they can stay afloat before calling it quits. As of date of this publication, 60% of closed businesses have permanently closed, representing almost 100,000 of all business closures.
Larvita Mcfarquhar, a single mother of four and owner of a small family restaurant, Havens Garden, and owner of Southwest School of Dance has been making the rounds on social media for publicly defying Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’ orders to keep both of her businesses open.
“I’m on the verge of losing everything I’ve worked for. I have to pay my bills and I have to feed my children,” Mcfarquhar told Scriberr News.
Mcfarquhar said she had “no choice” but to defy governor Walz’s orders. Mcfarquhar calls Governor Walz’s mandates “unethical, unlawful and unconstitutional,” and that is why she refuses to close down her businesses.
Currently, under Gov. Tim Walz’s orders, indoor dining and gyms have both been ordered to close.
Mcfarquhar posted several videos on her Facebook page explaining why she is speaking out in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 orders.
“I have no money in savings. I have received no PPP loan [Paycheck Protection Program]. I have only received $1500 in grants from the state, but that was over two months ago,” she said.
“That’s not enough to stay afloat. I just want to work and be able to provide for my daughters.”
On Dec. 18, Gov. Walz extended the restrictions until at least Jan. 10, citing that Minnesota is “not yet out of the woods.”
“The most recent data from MDH continues to reflect alarming levels of community spread. Minnesota is also still well within the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s ‘Red Zone’ thresholds for test positivity rate and cases per 100,000 residents. And as the devastating consequences of recent case surges continue to emerge, we cannot afford a setback,” the executive order read.
The two-week average for COVID-19 fatalities increased to over 60 deaths per day in the state.
Earlier this week, a deputy with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office handed McFarquhar a 500-page lawsuit wrapped in a red ribbon stating she could face up to $25,000 in fines and possible jail time if she continued to defy Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 orders.
McFarquhar said she’s mentally prepared her four daughters for the worst-case scenario.
“My daughters will not see me give up so easily. I should not be jailed for wanting to work and provide for my family. I’m scared but I have to show my girls what it means to be a fighter,” McFarquhar said.
But there’s been a small silver lining for McFarquhar. An organization known as Reopen Minnesota Coalition paid for McFarquhar’s legal expenses.
Mcfarquhar said she’s mentally and emotionally prepared for whatever consequences she might face for her defiance but that she will not concede.
“You took an oath to uphold the constitution,” said Mcfarquhar of Gov.Tim Walz.
“It’s time for you to step down because you’re doing the complete opposite. We the people have put you in a position of power and we the people have had enough of you taking advantage of us,” said Mcfarquhar.