Economy woes

We all know the economy has been shrinking, as evidenced by shuttered businesses, widespread layoffs and more. Simply put, it's a scary time.

Last week, the federal government issued numbers that show just how much the economy has changed between April and June.

Last quarter, the economy fell by nearly 33% — a decrease that broke records, PBS NewsHour reports.

If you need anymore context, here's some: It's the biggest drop ever, with records going back to 1947.

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The economic contraction can be contributed to a decline in consumer spending, which fell by over 34%. Typically, consumer spending makes up 70% of America's economic activity.

Many experts have said that they expect a full economic recovery to take years.

One opening

While it's a difficult time, I've been able to share the stories of businesses that are forging ahead and opening.

I can add two more to that list: the Jade Fountain and Boathouse Treats and Treasures.

The Boathouse Treats and Treasures, according to its website,, is opening in the Lincoln Park location that was Carr's Hobbies for 50 years.

Jack Carr, the owner of Carr's Hobbies, told the News Tribune last year that he planned to close the store and sell it to Beth Petrowske. She has renovated the space, which will sell local art, antiques, hand-crafted chocolate, arcade machines and more.

The Boathouse, at 2009 W. Superior St., will open Aug. 8.

Make that … two openings

And one day before the Boathouse's opening, the Jade Fountain is set to open Aug. 7.

I reported on the restaurant's reopening in April, when owner Kai Soderberg said he hopes the Jade Fountain becomes a gathering spot for the West Duluth community.

The restaurant, at 305 N. Central Ave., has been around since 1968 and was once considered one of the best restaurants in the Twin Ports. With big shoes to fill, the Jade Fountain will open as a "Midwest Chinese restaurant meets retro-noir-tiki lounge," a news release says.

Eventually, the Jade Fountain will fill its space with live music and other events, but for now it's practicing social distancing and has limited capacity.

Kelly Busche covers business and health for the News Tribune. Know of another business that's opening, doing something noteworthy or you just want to say "hi"? Drop her a line at