Small businesses get help on post pandemic preparations for reopening in Oakland County

Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner hosted a virtual town hall meeting on Monday with state Rep. Padma Kuppa about getting small business back open after the state-wide COVID-19 shutdown ends.

The Yarn Shop in Clawson and Sarah's Cake Supply in Troy are just two of the many businesses that Kuppa got feedback from, during her downtown Coalition Listening Tour.

"There are a lot of businesses that are nervous about reopening," Kuppa said. "They don't know what do they do if somebody walks into their store or into their business without a mask on and they want them to be safe - and they get angry."

Another issue is that many hourly employees who work for small businesses don't have paid sick time.

"If you don't take the time to care for yourself, if you don't have earned paid sick time, a lot of people are choosing between putting food on the table, paying their rent or going to the store to buy groceries and that's a bad thing. Because the coronavirus is not seeing any barriers," she said.

And as shops and restaurants start to open back up ...

"How do you protect your employees? how do you protect yourself," she said.

The Downtown Coalition is working to come up with answers.

"When you have healthy workers, you have a healthy business," Kuppa said.