Two of Michigan’s biggest business groups are split over Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “stay at home” order to help combat the Coronavirus.
“We appreciate Governor Whitmer’s leadership and thoughtful approach to taking action during this crisis,” said the Small Business Association of Michigan, which is headed by former Lt. Governor Brian Calley.
“Although we know many of our members are facing severe hardship over this crisis, it is important that we trust that the Governor is making the best decisions she can based on the information available to her,” he said in a statement. “We support this action to prevent further spreading of COVID-19 in Michigan and urge our members to robustly comply. “
The move also had the support of the United Auto Workers. President Rory Gamble said in a statement shortly after the order was issued that “stay at home orders will in fact not only save lives but speed up the timetable to get our workforce back up and running at capacity.
“The sooner we can limit exposure and ‘flatten the curve’, the sooner all American’s can go back to work, school and our daily normal routines,” Gamble said. It’s a tough decision, but a necessary one.”
But the Michigan Chamber of Commerce took a different view: ” Not all Michigan businesses need to cease operations due to the threat of COVID-19,” said president Rich Studley in a letter to Governor Whitmer that went out Saturday. “For example, many businesses provide essential services and goods to our citizens. We cannot risk a disruption in the supply chain or a break in the distribution cycle. In addition, many businesses have non-interruptible operations and those operations need to be protected as we move forward.