Small businesses re-open to new normal, and new challenges

Michigan

“It’s been hard, super hard, and I’m glad that I don’t just burst into tears all the time because I could,” said Owner of Windy Hills Creation Market, Michele Hinkley.

For more than 35 years, Michele Hinkley’s called flowers, and home goods her life’s work. As a small business owner her unique boutique is just one of the many that closed for months due to Covid-19.

Now that the shop has re-opened she’s facing new challenges, and she still hasn’t received a single unemployment check.

“I’ve been thirteen weeks with no unemployment check, actually I’m going on to thirteen weeks, and I have called everybody, and I have tried to get help, and it just hasn’t. Nothings panned out,” said Hinkley.

The City of Jackson says while their funding is limited they are doing everything they can do to help these businesses get back on their feet.

“We’re applying for any grant we can come across. We are trying to funnel those dollars in our businesses whenever we can to help support them, and if it’s not money that we can directly send to them through a grant we are making sure that we do a lot of outreach to say these grant programs are out here there’s these six options,” said Executive Director of Downtown Development for the City of Jackson, Cory Mays.

For now, Hinkley says every little bit helps. She’s just trying to keep the lights on, and push forward thanks to the support of others who are struggling too.

“It’s amazing to feel that because even the other store owners will come in, and buy from me, and I’ll go, and buy from them just for support, and it’s been really good.”     

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