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What Michigan's COVID Restrictions Could Mean For Businesses' Winter Seasons

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Michigan began a three-week “pause” on several fronts in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state. 

Under the new restrictions from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, indoor dining facilities, movie theaters and ice skating rinks are all closed. Those are just a few of the new restrictions.

Arthur Havlicek, president of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber, which is based in Berrien County, said the pause will be particularly difficult for businesses that haven’t recovered from Michigan’s first round of restrictions, which ended in June.

“There’s some businesses that have been able to get into the black, but anyone who hasn’t, they’ve basically just had the door closed on them,” Havlicek said.

In order to keep businesses from closing during the slower, colder winter months, Havlecik urged consumers to start shopping locally.

“You can get every Christmas present from a local small business, you can still do carry-out for these restaurants, you can buy gift cards for your favorite movie theater,” he said.

Havlicek added that unless communities “drastically reduce” the spread of the virus over the next three weeks, the “pause” could extend well beyond its Dec. 8 end date. Every day that goes by, he says, is “potentially hundreds of businesses” closing their doors.

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo

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Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.
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