Mackinac Policy Conference rescheduled for August

Due to uncertainty over the coronavirus, the Mackinac Policy Conference has been rescheduled.

Normally organized for late-May, the annual meeting of public policy wonks and government officials has been moved to Monday, Aug. 10 to the 13.

The decision to reschedule was a precautionary change made by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce after discussions between its board of directors and representatives of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

"Michigan will need the Mackinac Policy Conference more than ever after this pandemic to help chart its future," said Ryan Maiback, the 2020 Conference chair. "The August dates provide a great opportunity to reemerge and have robust discussions about rebuilding a stronger Michigan."

It's unclear what the state of Michigan's economy will be in by August. With the daily total of new coronavirus cases larger than the day before, local and state governments have enacted heavy restrictions on nonessential businesses and public places.

With the situation changing every day, companies and workers have struggled to adapt. Economists anticipate a contraction in the country's economy this quarter, while some are even calling the fiscal freefall a recession.

As low-interest loans become available to small businesses, lawmakers are locating pockets of the federal government that can ease the economic burden on manufacturers. 

Just after midnight Wednesday, the Senate came to an agreement on a massive $2 trillion stimulus package that targets an array of industry sectors, from airlines and cruise ships to direct cash benefits and sick leave pay.