Which Michigan Businesses Are Exempt from Closing Because of COVID-19?

March 25, 2020

As the number of coronavirus victims continues to rise, staying home and practicing social distancing has become more important than ever. Though the state of Michigan has been at the top of its class when it comes to reducing the rate of travel, small businesses are still struggling to survive under government orders.

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus — also known as COVID-19 or novel coronavirus — the Michigan state government has mandated that all nonessential businesses close. But what counts as nonessential and how do you support struggling businesses?

Here is a brief list of which businesses are open and how you can better support your local economy:

Open: Essential Businesses

Essential businesses include the usual suspects: medical facilities, like hospitals and nursing homes, are still open. Banks are still open. The mail is still being delivered and the trash is still being removed. Grocery stores are open, though many are altering their hours to keep employees safer and costs under control. These are some of the basic functions that we need in order to survive in the modern age.

Surprisingly enough, some seemingly unnecessary businesses have been deemed essential by the government. These include auto repair shops, liquor stores, and even home repair businesses. It might be hard for some to draw a connection between companies and their essential classification, but it makes a little sense when 82% of people report a greater desire to stay home after a kitchen remodel. With social distancing in full effect, it’s more important to stay home than ever before.

That won’t stop restaurants, however. Small businesses and fast food joints alike will keep their doors at least partially open thanks to delivery and takeout options. Unfortunately, there are still some businesses that are scheduled to be closed, whether they like it or not.

Noncompliance could result in hefty fines. Reports claim that more than one million of Michigan’s 4.3 million jobs will be paused.

Closed: Nonessential Businesses

Nonessential businesses might still be able to hold on if they ask their employees to work from home, but the vast majority of these businesses might struggle to hold on. Basically, the jobs can still conduct minimal amounts of effort to stay open, like allowing employees to work from home or utilizing takeout options at restaurants. In the case that minimum operations need to be conducted from an office, workers can go in with an employer’s permission.

But for businesses defying the government order, police investigations will occur, potentially resulting in fines or worse. If you’re not sure if a business is essential or not, reaching out to your city government officials can help clear things up. So far, hair salons, tattoo parlors, and other customer-facing jobs have typically been barred from serving patrons.

“Don’t play fast and loose with what is essential and what’s not,” noted Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Don’t try to skirt the rules. If you’re not an essential business you need to close and you need to protect your employees. We’re confident that the vast majority of people are going to do the right thing.”

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2 Responses to Which Michigan Businesses Are Exempt from Closing Because of COVID-19?

  1. Stephanie Reply

    March 25, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    Are there any vape stores opened? I’m looking for a bottle of CBD, I use it instead of medicine

  2. Doug Reply

    March 26, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    It seems like there are tip or hotline numbers for just about everything nodays. So why isn’t there a hotline nuumber to report non essential businesses that are staying open?? Some of these businesses are just saying the heck with Gov. Whitmer’s orders and staying open. They don’t feel that anything will be done to them if they are caught. I can understand there thinking when there is no way to report these businesses. Something needs to be done to get these businesses to close. Can’t we get a hot line for the public to safely call and report those businesses?

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