Sen. Ken Horn | #MiSenateGOP
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) announced last week the formation of a business coalition lead by Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth) that will address the needs of businesses as they cope with the economic difficulties that are a result of the new coronavirus.
The Michigan senate said the coalition’s goal is to address the immediate recovery needs of businesses and also address “long-term sustainable changes” if the state faces a similar situation in the future.
“The business community, especially small businesses and those experiencing mandatory closures, will be feeling the negative effects of the coronavirus for many months to come,” said Horn. “In a crisis such as this, it is our job as elected leaders to do what we can to help those in serious need," he told MiSenateGOP.
The crisis changed on Monday, March 23, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, which directed all businesses and operations not essential to sustaining or protecting life to temporarily suspend in-person operations. You can view the order at Michigan.gov.
Effective March 24, for at least the following three weeks, individuals can only leave their home for limited reasons and must abide by social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The governor’s executive order came just days after receiving a letter from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, arguing against such a decision. Business leaders were urging Whitmer to only consider a “shelter in place” order as a final resort.
In the letter to the governor on Friday, March 20, Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley wrote, “At this time, we recommend against a 'Stay at Home' or 'Shelter in Place' executive order that starts from the premise that most, if not all, 877,000 businesses in Michigan should be closed, while a select few are allowed to stay open.”
Studley said business officials were concerned about what such an order would do to the state’s economic health and suggested that not all businesses need to shut down because of COVID-19.