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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Concerns grow for Michigan restaurant industry as executive orders are extended

Owners worry takeout-only options are not sustainable
Posted at 8:02 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 20:02:16-04

The governor has extended her executive orders, keeping some businesses closed until the end of the month. Those businesses are considered places of public accommodations, including bars and restaurants.

Restaurants have been hit hard by the shutdown despite being able to stay open for takeout only. Now they have to push back reopening until May 28.

Justin Winslow is the president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association.

“Anxiety, fear, a lot of frustration,” he said that is what many restaurant owners are feeling.

Even though the stay-at-home order remains in effect until May 15, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pushed back the reopening date for some businesses until May 28.

The extension includes:

* Restaurants
* Bars
* Entertainment Venues
* Indoor & Outdoor Movie Theaters
* Casinos
* Gyms
* Libraries
* Museums

With restaurants remaining closed until the end of the month, Winslow says the results could be devastating. He says eateries in Michigan are permanently closing at a rate of 20 a day.

“If this industry (has a) massive fallout, our state economy, for a long time, will have a massive fallout,” Winslow said.

Even though many restaurants are surviving on carry-out only, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association says 55% of the industry is closed. Those business owners say it doesn’t make "dollars and sense" to stay open for takeout.

“For some it just isn’t really an option,” Winslow said.

That includes The Block and Flood’s Bar & Grille. Stephanie Boyd owns both with her family. Floods is located near Greektown Casino and opened 30 years ago. The Block has been in Midtown for five years. Both haven’t been open for takeout, but Boyd says that will change mid-May.

“I’m confident that we will be able to manage that,” she said.

The restaurant association is continuing to ask for your support, whether it’s getting takeout or dining in once businesses open back up.

Boyd says finances have been hard but she’s keeping a positive attitude.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll come back bigger, stronger, better in the near future,” she said.</p><p>

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help businesses and restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

Also, get information about Rebound Mid Michigan, with stories, information and more about coming back from COVID-19

Join the Rebound Mid Michigan Facebook Group.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.