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Closed businesses testify to Michigan lawmakers about reopening safely

Michigan House OKs forgiveness of 'responsibility' fee debt
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 29, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — With no word on when gyms and entertainment centers will be able to open, businesses owners took to the Capitol once again to ask lawmakers to do something about it.

Cindy Scharns owns Branch Gymnastics, but on Wednesday, she said her message was on behalf of all private gymnastics clubs.

“Our message is that we as private gymnastics clubs can open safely,” Scharns said. “That if there are standards and expectations that we need to achieve or haven’t already achieved, because I believe that we have superseded the expectations and guidelines that we were given on June 8. All we need is the communication to be able to do that.”

Bo Goergen, executive director of Bowling Centers Association of Michigan, feels bowling alleys can open up safely and timing is critical.

“Some of the concerns might be the touch points and I’d like to use the comparison that the bowling balls and shoes that you might use in bowling is similar to a shopping cart, or a basket at a grocery store,” Goergen said. “We can cleanse those and disinfect them.”

Chris McCuiston, co-founder and CEO of Goldfish Swim School, said they, too, have worked on plans to open up safely.

“We’ve submitted our action plan, our preparedness plan, we worked with a pools work group for the state of Michigan,” McCuiston said. “We’re going above and beyond with every safety measure we can.”

Fitness centers have long been a part of the conversation and testified on Wednesday as well.

All of them had a common frustration with the lack of communication from the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office.

“The lack of communication, the lack of collaboration that we’re feeling,” McCuiston said.

Burn Fitness owner Alyssa Tushman said she doesn’t think owners are part of the conversation the way they should be.

“We haven’t heard word back from the administration,” Goergen said. “It would be kind of them to at least give us some guidelines or communication.”

There are only a few other states without gyms open. With Michigan still struggling to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, there’s no word on when they will reopen.

“We will do whatever we can to get back in the game,” Tushman said.

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