Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance Urges Gov. Whitmer to Move Area to Phase Five of Reopening

A group of northern Michigan chambers is asking Governor Whitmer to move northern Michigan into the next phase of reopening.

They want the governor to move northern Michigan into phase five of the MI Safe Start Plan.

That would allow places like salons, theaters and bowling alleys to open.

Northern Michigan was one of the first regions to move to phase four and the chamber alliance says the area is ready for the next step.

“Customers have had weeks to kind of adapt to the new normal as well as our businesses and they’ve taken the precautions necessary to regain a sense of normalcy so our neighbors can get back to work,” said Stacie Bytwork, Chairperson of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance.

Phase five would allow places like hair salons and theaters to reopen in some capacity. That includes the Garden Theater in Frankfort. They’ve used the shutdown to work on a few projects around their building and hope they’re able to welcome movie goers in the near future.

“It will be interesting when theaters are allowed to reopen as to how the public will perceive that. Obviously being inside a building with a lot of other people is frightening for some and we’ll do our best to mitigate that risk and bring people together again,” said theater co-owner Rick Schmitt.

The chamber alliance says they hope the governor gives their letter strong consideration, with many more northern businesses eager to get back to work.

“We’re definitely open to working with the governor as well as our health departments and hoping that comes sooner rather than later. A lot of these businesses closed for quite some time so we definitely feel there’s a strong need for these businesses to be reopened and they’re ready,” said Bytwork.

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Categories: Coronavirus