More needs to be done to restore small business confidence, but it is a start towards restoring small business confidence
The state’s leading small business organization, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), is encouraged by Governor Whitmer’s announcement of an easing of restrictions on businesses shutdown by previous Executive Orders. The orders were issued under the state of emergency declaration by the governor in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are appreciative and encouraged by the Governor’s easing of restrictions,” said NFIB State Director Charlie Owens. “We also believe that the efforts by the Republican legislature to move towards a more risk-based and practical approach to reopening our economy has helped to move the needle in that direction and they deserve credit for representing the concerns of small business and their constituents in this regard”.
While the Governor is asking the legislature to extend her stay-at-home order to May 15, she has also lifted restrictions from previous orders on a variety of businesses that would include many small business operations.
Owens said that cautiously expanding the kinds of businesses that operate safely is essential to keeping Michigan from plunging into a prolonged recession. “Small business is hanging by a thread, which is devastating since it represents half the jobs and economy in this state,” said Owens. “In another two to four weeks many small businesses will never re-open and it will be difficult to recover from the damage.”
Owens pointed to an NFIB Research Center latest survey on the current impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on small business that showed continued deterioration of the small business sector. According to the study, the severity of the outbreak and regulatory measures that cities and states are taking to control it are having a devastating impact on small businesses.
“Currently, 92% of small employers are negatively impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a continued escalation from 76% of small employers reporting negative impacts 10 days earlier,” said Owens. The study can be found HERE.
Owens also said that the “industry by industry” and “business by business” approval approach taken by the Governor’s Executive Order’s is no longer necessary. “The original orders may have been appropriate during the early stages of the COVID-19 situation, but it is time to look at a more balanced approach,” said Owens. “Other states have issued orders that are more flexible and prescriptive, and Michigan needs to do the same.”
The full Executive Order can be found HERE.