Covering the intersection of business and policy, and informing Michigan employers and workers on the long road back from coronavirus.
"People say to me, ‘I feel so bad for you being demonized as far as the numbers,’” said the owner of Harper’s in East Lansing.“If we don’t have the numbers, we don’t know what’s out there.”
Bars, particularly in college towns, have an avalanche of challenges as they try to reopen: limited seating, rude customers and young people who didn’t come to stay socially distant. And then there is Harper’s, which is facing the fallout from a packed house.
President Trump’s suspension of visas during the coronavirus outbreak cuts off critical foreign supply, business and industry groups say. Backers of the order say it provides more openings for U.S. workers during an economic crisis.
State-themed puzzles started as a ‘history side hustle,’ but now staff and volunteers at the Michigan History Center are riding increased sales as interest in the hobby takes off.
The state’s investigation into international fraud found 1 in 5 frozen accounts are still considered suspicious.
Jobless workers continue to say they’re struggling to reach Unemployment Insurance Agency employees to resolve issues with unpaid claims that in some cases may go back months
John Walsh, CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, says the sector is ramping up amid softer global demand after coronavirus. Now it’s evaluating what it needs to gain ground, including ensuring worker safety and perhaps more automated jobs.
‘How do we get people back to work when there’s really no incentive for them to?’ asked one employer about not being able to compete for workers earning generous jobless benefits.
Benefits have been restored to 140,000 people, but an additional 200,000 new claims now require verification as the state confronts identity theft.
Landlords in many areas are working to reduce evictions. With coronavirus, ‘the last thing we need is to increase our homeless population,’ said one tenant attorney in Flint.
Mani Osteria was groundbreaking when it opened 9 years ago. Now, founder Adam Baru joins restaurateurs across Michigan in plotting how to safely reopen after a coronavirus shutdown and restore lost sales.
Travel fell by more than 40 percent amid the pandemic, which experts say could reap insurance companies sizable profits. Ordered by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to pay rebates, most are paying 15 percent to 20 percent. That often amounts to about $50 or less.
About 340,000 accounts in the state’s jobless benefit system received ‘stop payment’ alerts in May when officials launched an investigation into identity fraud. Now, lawmakers and the jobless are becoming frustrated over the agency’s lack of answers about the probe.
The state’s dining industry is allowed to reopen with some restrictions Monday, but about half won’t open right away. Some still see financial risks and others are sorting out their health precautions after COVID-19.
As Michigan begins to reopen, 87 percent of Michigan small businesses forecast sales declines. A survey also shows more business owners favor President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic than they do that of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Windows were smashed along a street filled with small, independent businesses in this West Michigan city. As Tuesday evening loomed, there was sympathy for sincere protests against police violence, and fear of what “outsiders” might have in store.
‘During a time of crisis when you have limited dollars, you really need to make sure that whatever you are spending helps as many people as possible,’ says Doug Rothwell of Business Leaders for Michigan.
Coronavirus closed nonessential stores across the state, but now retailers can start to reopen. The return to in-person sales could be the start of a rebound for the struggling sector — and more jobs for unemployed residents.
Some of Michigan’s retailers will still wait weeks to reopen, as they align staffing, their finances and how they’ll follow state guidelines. This is one story among them, as the owner of Curious and Archives in East Lansing grapples with coronavirus impacts.