On the go

Duluth specialty shoe store Tortoise and Hare Footwear will soon increase its footprint in Duluth — sorry, had to try.

It’s opening a storefront in the building at 320 E. Superior St., once the home of a piano restoration business.

Andy Stukel will manage the downtown location, while his parents continue running the West Duluth location.

However, this location will place a bigger emphasis on fashion-forward footwear because downtown sees more to retail shoppers, Stukel said.

Eye care clinic moving on down

By that, I mean St. Luke’s Eye Care has moved a few floors down in the downtown Medical Arts building.

Going from the eighth floor to the second floor gives the center more space to do its thing.

With more patient demand, hospital spokesperson Melissa Burlaga said they needed a bigger, more modern space for the clinic.

There also are locations in Hermantown, Hibbing and Superior, all of which take patients without referrals.

Some stability

It’s what we’re all searching for, right? Well, the manufacturing industry here in Minnesota may achieve that this year.

That’s according to a survey from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Survey results found that 94% of the 220 respondents expect employment to remain the same or go up, and the same percentage also expects production/service levels to remain the same or increase.

Those are just two data points from the survey; learn more on DEED’s website.

Coronavirus

Although much isn’t known about how far the Coronavirus will spread, Minnesota companies that work with Chinese business are doing OK.

The Pioneer Press reported that companies with reps who travel between China and the U.S. are now relying on communicating online, rather than in-person.

Companies like Medtronic, Ecolab, Cargill and Target do need to travel between the countries because they export billions in goods. But the travel restriction isn’t a deal breaker, one CEO said. He instead called the restrictions inconvenient.

Right now, people are mainly only predicting the virus' impact on the economy.. But it is known that the further the virus spreads and the longer it lasts, its economic impact will continue climbing.

Plato’s Closet relocating

Plato’s Closet in Duluth is moving, but not far.

It’s relocating later this month from Burning Tree Plaza to a storefront next to the Miller Hill Mall, at 1702 Miller Trunk Hwy.

The new space nearly doubles its current square footage, from 1,900-square feet to 3,400-square feet.

Kelly Busche covers business and the health care industry for the News Tribune. Although there’s been a lot of small business movement in recent weeks, she wants to cover more. Drop her a line at kbusche@duluthnews.com.