Several local bar and restaurant owners have banded together to ensure their businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic by circulating a petition encouraging Governor Gretchen Whitmer to enact a temporary executive order that would allow for the sale of cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits from licensed establishments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the stay-at-home order in place, local restaurants and bars have been hit hard. Many food and hospitality businesses have been forced to shut down. As of April 7th, Michigan lost 72,000 restaurant-specific jobs and suffered an estimated $491 million losses in restaurant sales, according to WDET. Business owners are seeking every possible avenue to ensure their restaurant remains viable for the community to continue enjoying once the stay-at-home order is over.
The petition asks Governor Whitmer to allow the safe sale of alcohol for off-premise consumption. The Executive Order, if granted, allows any sale of alcohol to be treated similarly to the treatment of off-premises sales by retailers. Containers to transport the beverages would need to be closed and only opened for consumption once arriving safely at home. If the transport containers were opened before arriving home or in other public places, that would result in a violation of in-place open-container laws.
The sought temporary executive order would allow local businesses to have more opportunities to create revenue with the goal of enhancing their ability to survive this recession. The petition cites other states that have instituted similar orders with great success. Although any version of the sought executive order will be tailored to the specific state, this is a chance for Michigan to join the fight to keep local restaurants and bars alive.
The petition is currently about 1500 signatories short of the 7500 signature goal. To sign the petition, go here.