Pandemic Pause: Second shutdown begins for some MI industries

Pandemic Pause: Second shutdown begins for some MI industries

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- Some Michigan businesses must close their doors once again as part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’s new epidemic order, including restaurants and fitness studios.

Fitness studios can no longer hold group classes, which means their only option is hosting students virtually.

Restaurants will not be able to have indoor dining, so they’ll switch back to being fully carry-out.

And whether a business has been in Berrien County for decades or is brand new, both are feeling the struggles.

Silver Beach Pizza has been in St. Joseph for 15 years and is packed with customers nearly every night.

While a location right on the beach helps attract business, its parking lot set up does not, and operating under curbside conditions was a fear for the restaurant.

But they’ve been pleasantly surprised by the continued support since the pandemic started.

“It’s just morphed into a really great system and we still used it these last few months pretty flawlessly, and now that we’re going to carry-out for the next three weeks,” said co-owner Jim Costas.

The new system involves signage with directions on getting through that narrow parking lot, how to use their new texting system and updates on changing hours.

While their nearly two decades-old restaurant has thrived in adapting to the pandemic, some businesses haven’t been so lucky – including a yoga studio in Niles, Wrapped in Light, that just opened one month ago.

“I knew it was a risk but it was one I was willing to take and the last 30 days were really promising, now we’re kind of at square one again,” said Meghan Engledow, owner of Wrapped in Light, LLC.

Now, having to learn how to keep a business running – virtually – during a shutdown.

“I taught up until last night and all of my students are super supportive and I’ve had enough people ask so I’ll do one class a week,” said Engledow.

As for those more fortunate — they’re feeling grateful.

“Carry out went from 10% to 40% and we just feel lucky with pizza because it’s a lot easier to do carry out, it’s more normal,” said Costas.

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