ST. PAUL (AP) -- For snow-starved businesses throughout the state, Senate Tax Chairman Doug Johnson said Thursday he'll try to provide some relief, possibly through low-interest loans.
Johnson, DFL-Tower, conceded the idea is merely a concept right now and he couldn't estimate the cost. But from snow removal operations to snowmobile outfitters, restaurants, resorts and bars, Johnson is convinced the situation is as dire as the farm economy.
''The first year was bad enough. The second year made it worse. This third year now is a disaster for many of these business,'' Johnson said. ''I'm afraid what you're going to see, particularly with the resorts, is a lot of them are going to give up the winter business end because they've lost so much money.''
Johnson plans to ask Trade and Economic Development Commissioner Gerry Carlson to help him develop criteria for the proposal.
'We sure miss the snow that you got down in the city, we would have loved to have had it.' -- Dave Gravdahl Breezy Point Resort general manager
Dave Gravdahl, general manager at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, said his hotel has been only half full on winter weekends when it's usually full.
''We sure miss the snow that you got down in the city, we would have loved to have had it,'' Gravdahl said.
Unlike smaller outfits, Breezy Point can fall back on other areas, such as convention bookings. Gravdahl couldn't say whether Johnson's proposal would help the resort.
Kit Borgman, spokeswoman for the state agency, said Carlson hadn't discussed the plan with Johnson yet and couldn't comment.
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