International Falls Area Businesses Experience Impact of COVID-19

U.S., Canada Border Closure Impacts Businesses in the International Falls Area

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. – COVID-19 continues to keep a tight lockdown on our daily lives and routines.

Businesses are being impacted, and communities are having to come together now more than ever before to help one another.

The community of International Falls, situated right along the Canadian border, is feeling the economic impact due to the ongoing U.S., Canadian border closure.

Tricia Heibel, President of the International Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, says the closure is doubling the impact of COVID-19 in their community.

Each year, roughly 30-40 percent of retail business comes from Canadians and tourists driving through the region. Due to the closure, this number has significantly decreased.

“We’ve been able to temperate well for the most part with assistance from the state and federal government, as well as summer tourism,” said Heibel.

Heibel says thanks to Rainy Lake and other area attractions, some tourists are still venturing north to vacation which in turn helps boost the local economy during such a financially difficult time.

“It hasn’t been a total wash of a summer as we thought it would be in the spring,” said Heibel.

The Chamber encourages individuals to use caution, wear facemasks, social distance and only visit if feeling well.

The International Falls Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting their traditional Crazy Days summer sale on Wednesday, July 29, allowing local businesses to set up outside.

Heibel says the International Falls area can provide the perfect socially distanced vacation this summer.

Click here for more information from the International Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

As of Monday, July 27, Koochiching County reports 58 positive cases of COVID-19 and three deaths since first reported in March.




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