The winners and losers in the Minnesota government shutdown were on display in downtown Saint Paul today.
Winners: There was no waiting at high noon today at the restaurants and fast-food joints in the city’s Town Square and plenty of tables available in the usual free-for-all in the seating area.
Losers: Restaurants and fast-food joints. Not since the disastrous Republic National Convention in 2008, have the locals seen such a drop-off in business. The manager of a coffee shop told me this morning business was about half what it usually might be.
Why the impact? The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Driver and Vehicle Services office, the Department of Agriculture, and the office of the attorney general are among the bigger state agencies located in downtown Saint Paul.