Businesses concerned about pandemic pause extension

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MICHIGAN, Ind.— Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that the states’ 3 week Pause to Save Lives order will be extended for another 12 days.

Under the extension, the same rules apply for businesses and community members that they did before.

“Right now, we’ve got to join forces and double down on what it’s going to take to get these COVID numbers down,” Whitmer said.

High schools, colleges. movie theaters, bowling alleys, casinos, organized sporting events and activities, restaurant and bar dining rooms, fitness classes and even some workplaces are not able to open in-person.

While hair salons, retail stores, parks, daycare, funeral homes, construction sites, public transit, health care facilities, preschools, professional sports, small outdoor gatherings of 25 and two household gatherings still have the green light.

Before the order, businesses owners in Niles said that they were starting to see the light of day again.

“Before we got shut down again for the second time, we were actually really doing well it seemed like we were basically back to our pre-COVID numbers,” Harvest Café Owner Pam Sebasty said.

“We weren’t roaring back, but we were starting to pay our past due bills and it was starting to feel like maybe we can crawl out of this,” Joey Armadillos Owner Mark Godsey.

With the 3-week order and now the extension, businesses like Harvest Café have lost a lot of business.

Since then we’ve dropped way down because so many places had to lay off workers for things that people just don’t have the money to come,” Sebasty said.

Employees at businesses like Joey Armadillos are losing out on a lot of money that would normally be steady this time of year.

“They’re losing all the time and their families are worried and I think what bothers us the most is the COVID cases are through the roof so nothing changes and businesses closings are through the roof so they haven’t accomplished anything,” Godsey said.

Above all, their biggest worry is whether they’ll be able to stay afloat or not.

“If she goes much past January I’m not sure we can survive so we’ve basically put everything that we have into this to try and save it over and over,” Sebasty said.

“For me it’s probably, I can’t tell you whether I’ll make it or not. I don’t know. I just really don’t know. It’ll depend on utilities and stuff like that and if they’ll cut us some slack. Last time they didn’t cut us some slack,” Godsey said.

The extension lasts until December 20.

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