Paula Gardner

Paula Gardner is Bridge’s first business editor, joining the team in April 2020. Paula will be leading our new dive into business reporting, emphasizing Michigan’s economy and policy issues that affect it, along with stories about the people, decisions and changes on the front lines of business in our state.  Her career includes several years at MLive.com, where she was editor of The Ann Arbor News, statewide business reporter and part of an award-winning environmental coverage team that helped uncover and dig into Michigan’s PFAS crisis. Among her honors is an award naming her Michigan’s Journalist of the Year in 2019 from the Michigan Press Association. Paula’s experience includes leading the news team at AnnArbor.com, a digital news startup launched in 2009 that generated company-leading audience growth.  Before that, she worked at Michigan Business Review, the Detroit Free Press and the Ypsilanti Press. Paula moved from Dearborn Heights to attend the University of Michigan, then never left the greater Ann Arbor area after graduation. Find her as Paula_Gardner on Twitter or pgardner@bridgemi.com

Articles

Judge won't allow Michigan restaurants to immediately reopen dining rooms

Judge won't allow Michigan restaurants to immediately reopen dining rooms

November 20, 2020 | Paula Gardner, Jonathan Oosting

The restaurant industry warns that 250,000 employees could be laid off under new COVID-19 restrictions. A judge denied a request for an injunction, but the trade group’s suit seeking to overturn the measure continues.

 Michigan business leaders fear more closures after 3-week COVID ‘pause’

Michigan business leaders fear more closures after 3-week COVID ‘pause’

November 17, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Frustrations are mounting because Michigan’s restrictions don’t set goals for case counts. That’s prompted some leaders to fear the three-week ‘pause’ could stretch for many more weeks.

‘Shock and despair’ as Michigan bars, restaurants take another COVID hit

‘Shock and despair’ as Michigan bars, restaurants take another COVID hit

November 16, 2020 | Paula Gardner

In a Q&A, the head of a licensed beverage industry group said the state’s three-week ban on indoor service is not justified by where outbreaks are happening and will devastate businesses and laid-off workers if relief doesn’t come soon.

This Michigan store was a dream come true. Coronavirus still has it on hold.

This Michigan store was a dream come true. Coronavirus still has it on hold.

November 16, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Not all stores in Michigan reopened or closed. Some are stuck in limbo, like this one, just outside Detroit, where the owner is still hopeful about reopening, when it’s safe.

COVID pushed people outdoors. Michigan’s ski industry is ready for them.

COVID pushed people outdoors. Michigan’s ski industry is ready for them.

November 16, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Recreational activity skyrocketed in Michigan through spring and summer. Now the state’s snowsports businesses hope they’ll get a similar burst of sales.

Michigan cracks down on workplace COVID rules, urges remote working

Michigan cracks down on workplace COVID rules, urges remote working

November 12, 2020 | Paula Gardner

State health officials will be inspecting offices across the state for masks, social distancing and other compliance. Fines of $7,000 are possible if they find violations.

Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is being made in Michigan

Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is being made in Michigan

November 9, 2020 | Paula Gardner

The drug giant’s campus in Portage is the epicenter for one of several vaccines being developed as the world watches coronavirus cases climb once more.

Detroit poll challengers were in same room, but had different accounts

Detroit poll challengers were in same room, but had different accounts

November 6, 2020 | Madeline Halpert, Paula Gardner, Mansur Shaheen

Republican poll challengers say they were limited in where they could walk and who they could bring in during ballot counting at the TCF Center. Their Democratic counterparts (and an election official) counter that votes were counted professionally and it was the GOP that complicated the process.

GOP calls for Michigan election probe. Officials say their claims are weak.

GOP calls for Michigan election probe. Officials say their claims are weak.

November 6, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Paula Gardner, Madeline Halpert

The Republican National Committee is deploying legal teams to Michigan and calling for a federal investigation into ‘irregularities’ But elections officials — including some Republican clerks — say their claims don’t add up to much.

Reformer hired to fix Michigan’s unemployment system quits as problems mount

Reformer hired to fix Michigan’s unemployment system quits as problems mount

November 6, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Steve Gray was brought in to resolve problems getting benefits that he helped expose. But a little more than a year into the job, he has resigned from the system that was overrun by the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump, who now claims fraud, got more votes in Detroit than most Republicans

Trump, who now claims fraud, got more votes in Detroit than most Republicans

November 5, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Mansur Shaheen, Paula Gardner

Trump calls Detroit ‘corrupt,’ says the election is being stolen from him. But the reality is he’s done better than other Republican presidential candidates in the city.

Michigan softens restaurant rules requiring customer info during COVID

Michigan softens restaurant rules requiring customer info during COVID

November 3, 2020 | Paula Gardner

The restaurant industry was frustrated by rules requiring them to collect customer names and phone numbers to help limit COVID-19. New guidance provided Tuesday suggests restaurants won’t be held responsible if patrons don’t cooperate.

Whitmer administration leaves restaurants in dark on new COVID rule

Whitmer administration leaves restaurants in dark on new COVID rule

November 2, 2020 | Paula Gardner

New pandemic rules require restaurants to get customers’ names and phone numbers to help with contact tracing if there is an outbreak. But as the rules took effect Monday, state health officials had yet to give restaurants guidance on how to enforce them.

Michigan unemployment: the latest updates on fraud, stop payments and more

Michigan unemployment: the latest updates on fraud, stop payments and more

October 30, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Some say it’s time for full reform. Others just want to make sure the state’s overwhelmed unemployment benefit system can handle today’s claims.

Michigan restaurants must track customers under new COVID rules

Michigan restaurants must track customers under new COVID rules

October 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Mike Wilkinson, Paula Gardner

Michigan health officials ordered a number of businesses to limit capacity and the size of gatherings as they try to control the swift rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths that have swept the state.

Trump economic adviser to Detroit group: ‘Getting back to work’ is top goal

Trump economic adviser to Detroit group: ‘Getting back to work’ is top goal

October 28, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Larry Kudlow also told the Detroit Economic Club that the administration would not encourage a business lockdown as coronavirus rebounds in Michigan and across the nation.

Michigan retailers worry COVID spike will keep customers away. Again.

Michigan retailers worry COVID spike will keep customers away. Again.

October 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner

It’s been a hard year for stores and restaurants. Now they head into winter amid worry that a second wave of COVID-19 will hinder sales during the critical holiday season.

Michigan hospitals turn to $15 minimum wage to fill job openings

Michigan hospitals turn to $15 minimum wage to fill job openings

October 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner, Robin Erb

Two of the state’s largest health care systems bumped minimum wages to $15 an hour amid competition for entry-level workers. Nursing home employees in 14 southeast Michigan nursing homes also are on their way to pay increases.

Michigan business leaders urge Whitmer and Republicans to unite on COVID

Michigan business leaders urge Whitmer and Republicans to unite on COVID

October 21, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Some of the state’s top CEOs sent a letter Wednesday urging Republican lawmakers and the state’s Democratic governor to present a united front on coronavirus safety measures as Michigan braces for a second wave of the virus.

New grocery in Grand Rapids is about more than food. It’s about equity too.

New grocery in Grand Rapids is about more than food. It’s about equity too.

October 15, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Founder Alita Kelly wants to create ‘an experience that goes beyond just buying groceries’ for a part of the city that has few healthy food outlets.

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