“Their survival is in question right now,” manufacturing companies open as small businesses stay closed

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that manufacturers are able to go back to work on May 11th.

“We’ve done the risk assessment and we feel comfortable that with these safety protocols, we can safely re-engage,” said Governor Whitmer.

When they do reopen, there will be protocols put into place like health screenings, hand washing stations and even rotational shifts if possible, so less people are in the same area at the same time.

Many small businesses still can’t open their doors yet.

The president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, Brian Calley, says he thinks small businesses are ready to open and implement similar protocols.

“Many of the small businesses out there across the landscape that make our community so strong and so special, their survival is in question right now,” said Calley.

Calley says opening manufacturing companies is a step in the right direction, but questions the risk of opening manufacturing plants compared to small businesses.

“Some cases you might only have four or five people working in one operation, that in itself makes it less risky, than when you have a thousand people in a large space that are all working in concert together,” he added.

Calley says it could be easier for manufacturing companies and big businesses to reopen and put these safety measures in place.

“There’s strict guidelines and there are processes that are followed so as you put in safety regulations, the theory is that manufacturing will be suited to implement those with a high rate of fidelity,” Calley said.

But he thinks smaller businesses can do just as well enforcing these protocols.

“I think that we need policy makes to get comfortable with and to believe in small business owners and their ability to do this every bit as much as you believe in a big company” Calley said.

In the mean time, Calley says he is encouraging small business owners to take note of the protocols that are being put into place for businesses that can open, so they’ll be ready when it’s their turn.

“Health screening and social distancing requirements within the workplace, and sanitation and disinfecting schedules and the use of personal protection equipment, those are all tings in one way shape or form, will be required across the board,” said Calley.

He added that a lot of the stress coming from small business owners and employees is the fear of the unknown.

“Many industries, they have no indication whatsoever, whether or not it’ll be another two weeks, or another two months, or another four or five months,” said Calley.

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