U.P. restaurants react to Gov. Whitmer’s business closure order

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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all bars, gyms, dining in restaurants and other businesses to close as of 3:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We know that there is community spread in Michigan,” Whitmer said to Local 3’s sister station in Grand Rapids, WOOD-TV. “We need more tests, we need more capabilities to get those test done and I’m trying to implore the federal government to step up their efforts.”

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says that certain businesses will be closed from now until 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 30. This includes; dine-in restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, casinos and places of public amusement.

“Social distancing is the most important thing that we can do to avoid community spread of this disease,” said Whitmer. “And everyone of us has a responsibility to take our part. This is critical as we’ve seen the cases continue to grow, that we’ve got 20-year-olds. we’ve got school-aged children. No one is immune from this.”

Whitmer’s decision has left businesses finding alternatives as to how they’ll run. Sonia Stucko, who owns Stucko’s Pub Grill and Breakers Roadhouse in Marquette says they’ve been planning on changes at Stucko’s which will remain open as restaurants can still do take-out, delivery and curbside drop-off options. Breakers will not be open as it is primarily a bar.

“We’re weighing all those options,” said Stucko. “We’re probably not going to do delivery at this point but we are definitely going to be doing carry out and what we have so far is that we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be delivering the food to the vehicles in the parking lot. So people are going to be able to call ahead and then when they arrive, they can call us and we can bring the food to them.”

She says that another priority is making sure her approximately 35 employees still have hours to work throughout this order.

“So hopefully we’ll be able to get a few hours for just about everybody,” said Stucko.

All employees temperatures will be checked before working at Stucko’s to also help in the fight against the spread. Sonia says one way you can help businesses now is by purchasing gift cards to use in the future.

One restaurant owner in Escanaba tells the Radio Results Network that she’s very upset with Gov. Whitmer’s order.

“I cannot believe she can put that many people out of a job with one word,” said Rosy Cox, owner of Rosy’s Diner. “And how are they going to pay their bills? I don’t get it.”

Rosy says she plans on doing delivery and take-out 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every day. With her employees receiving their paycheck yesterday, she says they won’t see another one for a while.

“It’s easy to say everybody has to do this but it’s very uneasy to actually have to live through it,” said Cox. “Her life’s not changing one bit, I can guarantee it. Ours is.”

But Whitmer says that even though this may hurt, it’s a necessity.

“I know this impacts our economy but the worst thing we can do is not be aggressive now and watch this last longer and hurt more people.”

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