Metro Detroit business owners react to 3-week shutdown

Posted at 11:03 PM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 04:52:45-05

(WXYZ) — In downtown Royal Oak, news of another statewide shutdown spread fast.

Related: READ: Full epidemic order closing in-person dining, movie theatres, high schools & more

"Who’s to decide who can go where and when? I think this is getting out of control," said Craig Menuck, who added the shutdown is tough on his daughter who is in high school. "She’s at home crying on the couch. Just a terrible way to spend teenage years."

Related: Whitmer announces '3-week pause' to include ending in-person dining, closing movie theatres & more

The order comes as new cases of the coronavirus are reaching record highs, with indoor gatherings facing the blame.

“It sucks that it’s coming back up again, but hopefully with this shut down it will be a good thing,” added a young man picking up food at a restaurant.

Related: State leaders, other groups react to 3-week pause in Michigan over rising COVID-19 cases

For restaurants, the shutdown means no indoor dining for three weeks. Instead, they’ll rely on outdoor dining, carryout and delivery.

Related: MHSAA suspends fall sports tournaments, winter sports amid 3-week pause

“We’ve learned a lot this summer, we’ve learned a lot this fall and we’ve been bracing for this moment,” said Curt Catallo, co-owner of Union Joints Restaurant Group.

After being taken off guard in March, restaurant owners say they’re prepared. They've found creative ways to expand outdoor seating and are using apps to place online carryout orders.

“If it’s something we have to do for a short while for a long term gain, so be it,” Catallo said.

However this time around, there’s no extra help for furloughed workers. A three-week shutdown means three weeks with no pay for some.

“They're just concerned," Catallo said of his employees. "They’re worried about their shifts and their ability to make a living.”

We asked governor Gretchen Whitmer what her plan is to help these workers, and she said that support should come from Washington.

“I'm calling on the Trump administration, and leader McConnell and speaker Pelosi to get this stimulus package done," Whitmer said. "There are a lot of people who are struggling, and have been struggling since that 600 dollars went away.”

Casinos and theaters are also being forced to close.

In a statement, Emagine Theaters expressed frustration,

“While we respect the Governor’s decision to “pause” on a host of activities to halt the spread of COVID-19, we continue to be struck by the hypocrisy and inconsistencies in determining which sectors of the economy to close and which are allowed to remain open. There has not been a single reported outbreak of Covid-19 among guests at movie theaters worldwide, but our Governor and her health director have chosen to single-out our industry for closure. Again, we call upon Governor Whitmer and Mr. Gordon to bring forth the science and data supporting this directive. It is time for full transparency as an underpinning for these decisions.“

As Michaganders prepare for another three weeks of staying home, businesses prepare for another three weeks of survival, Hoping three weeks can bring the virus under control.

“Given the numbers and given the uptick, we need to socially distance and do our part as well,” said Christina Topolewski.