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Q&A with Rich Studley: Michigan hurt by ‘arbitrary’ coronavirus shutdown

Q&A with Rich Studley: Michigan hurt by ‘arbitrary’ coronavirus shutdown

May 28, 2020 | Paula Gardner

“Are we heading toward another lost decade?” CEO Rich Studley recently tweeted.

Michigan stores are reopening. Masks are required. Who’ll enforce it?

Michigan stores are reopening. Masks are required. Who’ll enforce it?

May 27, 2020 | Paula Gardner

The state’s retailers can reopen by following coronavirus safety guidelines, but that may cause new problems. Now they’re caught between customers who won’t wear masks - and those who expect it.

Coronavirus air travel: a postcard from a Michigan to Tampa-bound plane

Coronavirus air travel: a postcard from a Michigan to Tampa-bound plane

May 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner

As Michigan creeps toward re-opening, Bridge Business Editor Paula Gardner shares what it’s like at Detroit Metro Airport and on a crowded airplane.

Michigan travel industry feels ‘pressures in all directions’

Michigan travel industry feels ‘pressures in all directions’

May 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Tourism drives billions of dollars into the state’s economy. Now, after months of coronavirus shut-downs,  it’s starting summer without answers on when it can attempt to do that again.

Northern Michigan stores scramble to greet tourists. Well, some stores.

Northern Michigan stores scramble to greet tourists. Well, some stores.

May 24, 2020 | Alexandra Schmidt

Not everyone in Traverse City and other coastal vacation hubs are geeked at the arrival of tourists on Memorial Day weekend, days after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted restrictions on northern Michigan businesses. 

6 lessons Michigan restaurants and bars can learn from Florida's reopening

6 lessons Michigan restaurants and bars can learn from Florida's reopening

May 21, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Some Michigan restaurants can reopen this weekend, but COVID-19 is still changing the industry. These lessons from Florida, which reopened dining room access earlier this month, offer insight into how the new rules are reshaping business.

Coronavirus has spared the Keweenaw Peninsula but may kill summer tourism

Coronavirus has spared the Keweenaw Peninsula but may kill summer tourism

May 18, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Untouched until now by COVID-19, this Upper Peninsula tourist haven needs thousands of downstate visitors to keep its economy alive. The opening of restaurants and bars may not be enough to save many of its businesses.

Over 1.7 million applicants push Michigan unemployment system to the brink

Over 1.7 million applicants push Michigan unemployment system to the brink

May 13, 2020 | Paula Gardner

State legislators got their first look at overall jobless claims Wednesday after two months of coronavirus layoffs. Eight percent of applicants still await payments.

Long-term changes proposed for Michigan’s unemployment system

Long-term changes proposed for Michigan’s unemployment system

May 12, 2020 | Paula Gardner

With 1.3 million residents filing for jobless benefits, the system is under a spotlight. Now, some policy experts and Democrats say, it’s time to revise it. Business leaders aren’t sure.

Michigan restaurants give Gretchen Whitmer a roadmap for opening May 29

Michigan restaurants give Gretchen Whitmer a roadmap for opening May 29

May 8, 2020 | Paula Gardner

No opening date has been announced for the state’s restaurant industry, which lost over $1 billion in sales during April. Now the industry is outlining what it thinks it needs to do to reopen — and it wants the OK to start planning.

Michigan jobless claims top 1.1 million as state streamlines approvals

Michigan jobless claims top 1.1 million as state streamlines approvals

May 7, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order this week, changing the review process for benefits. The state hopes that step gets money to unemployed workers more quickly.

‘There is no playbook’ for Michigan’s businesses to navigate COVID-19

‘There is no playbook’ for Michigan’s businesses to navigate COVID-19

May 7, 2020 | David Wilkins

A look at first-quarter financial statements from 20 Michigan-based companies shows the first cracks from the pandemic — and raises questions about how deeply some of the state’s largest businesses will be affected.

Q&A with Brian Calley: 1 in 7 Michigan small businesses worry about survival

Q&A with Brian Calley: 1 in 7 Michigan small businesses worry about survival

May 7, 2020 | Paula Gardner

COVID-19 continues to pressure the state’s smallest operations, with 45 percent closed and 60 percent laying off at least one employee. Here is what an advocacy group says about the situation and what is needed next.

Michigan college towns were economically stable. Coronavirus changed that.

Michigan college towns were economically stable. Coronavirus changed that.

May 6, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Cities like Ann Arbor and East Lansing benefit from the ‘economic engines’ of their state universities. Budget shortfalls, potential layoffs and more fallout from COVID-19 now threaten their financial balance, from students shopping in local stores to how many people they employ.

As Michigan economy nears reopening, businesses scramble for protective gear

As Michigan economy nears reopening, businesses scramble for protective gear

May 1, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Like hospitals before them, businesses across the state face the prospect of having to compete for personal protection equipment they expect will be required to reopen but remains in high demand amid the global pandemic.

‘Scary times’ for Michigan restaurants won’t end when dining rooms reopen

‘Scary times’ for Michigan restaurants won’t end when dining rooms reopen

April 30, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Coronavirus is still battering the state’s restaurant industry, which lost $1.2 billion in sales in April and saw 75 percent of workers laid off. Switching to carry-out and opening for fewer patrons may not be enough for many to survive.

Some in Michigan make more from unemployment than work during coronavirus

Some in Michigan make more from unemployment than work during coronavirus

April 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Businesses in the northeast Lower Peninsula say some workers are not quite ready to return to their jobs, given the boost in income they receive from special federal and state funding during the pandemic lockdown.

How some Michigan counties are insulated against coronavirus unemployment

How some Michigan counties are insulated against coronavirus unemployment

April 23, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Certain places in Michigan are losing more jobs than others. It’s the same old story in a state where manufacturing still dominates the economy in some counties.

Bridge expands Michigan business/economy coverage with acclaimed journalist

Bridge expands Michigan business/economy coverage with acclaimed journalist

April 23, 2020 | John Bebow

Bridge expands its journalism with addition of a Business Watch section and adds the 2019 Michigan Press Association Journalist of the Year to lead coverage.

Michigan small businesses rocked by coronavirus turn to Congress for help

Michigan small businesses rocked by coronavirus turn to Congress for help

April 17, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Programs set up to help businesses decimated by the coronavirus shutdown have run out of money or halted applications. One Michigan business owner thought his application for a portion of $349 billion in federal stimulus was set only to learn the money ran out. 

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