Businesses weigh options to stay open during COVID-19 pandemic

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — Over a million Michiganders have filed for unemployment. Many local businesses have been forced to close there doors, but some remain open.

“Because everything is pretty much shut down, most businesses that depend on revenue from sales or service are probably struggling,” said Mike Angeli, Manager, City of Marquette.

After a month of the COVID-19 social distancing requirements, business doors have closed, leaving millions of people out of work.

“Hoping that the stimulus package or the federal money that’s being funneled through can help those people get through this, so when we do get back to normal life, they’re able to continue on as before,” said Angeli.

There are local businesses that have decided to stay open to help their staff and community.

“I’ve been open for 22 years and I definitely don’t want to close if we are viable. I want to continue to employ my employees and employ myself and provide food for the community,” said Christal Silta, Owner of Third Street Bagel.

Some local businesses have made adjustments to remain open, like Third Street Bagel.

Christal Silta, the owner of Third Street Bagel, kept her doors open in the beginning of the pandemic, but she made some changes after speaking with her staff.

“I voluntarily closed the front doors because I asked the staff what I could do to make them feel more comfortable,” said Silta.

“Because everybody is afraid of getting it and they said the one thing that made them feel nervous is that customers would come and they felt they had to police that six foot apart thing and then customers would walk in and customers would linger, hang-out, and talk because there is a lack of personal contact going on so, once I locked the front doors my staff feels very safe being here.”

Many business owners, along with local government officials, are looking at this situation as an opportunity to reflect on their business model.

“This situation may be to forefront our inefficiencies from the previous operation and gives us an opportunity to do things differently,” said Mike Angeli.

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