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Letter from the President

June 29, 2020

By Brian Calley

Small business owners have been in crisis management for months now, and even as we move into the later stages of reopening, the situation will remain volatile and challenging at least through the end of this year. Since late March, Michigan has inched forward fairly consistently. But the risks of backsliding have never been more apparent.

A look around the country shows how quickly things can change. In some southern and western states, cases continue to rise. Even as we look to loosen restrictions further in Michigan, they are being added back elsewhere.

There are multiple reasons that could be in play as to why increased infections are happening, and unfortunately, politics is infused across so much of the landscape. But for small business owners in Michigan, this is an inflection point, and we need to remain vigilant.

In Michigan, the percentage of positive tests have increased slightly in the past 2 weeks, but it remains low overall. If that increase gets bigger, we need to be able to show that it’s not coming from small businesses – and to do that, we need to show that we are following the rules and taking them seriously.

There are four main pillars to mitigation:

  1. Health Screening
  2. Social Distancing
  3. Sanitizing and Disinfecting
  4. Personal Protective Equipment

If a case was found in your facility, would you be able to say you followed the rules? Would that be evident in what your employees or customers would say? We live in a world full of anecdotes, gotcha media, and Monday morning quarterbacking.

One of our top goals at the Small Business Association of Michigan is to make sure that we avoid a broad shut down of the economy and that we reopen the remaining closed industry sectors. In order to be successful, we need to be able to show that small business owners are following the rules. We need to be able to demonstrate that even if infection rates are rising, it’s not coming from small businesses.

Now that many businesses are weeks or more into the reopening process, are you as vigilant as you were when you first reopened? Now would be a great time to evaluate how well you are driving to your COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. These next few weeks will determine much of how the rest of the year goes. Please stay safe to stay open.

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