Tough times for bars & restaurants after Whitmer orders them closed for coronavirus

Effective Monday at 3 p.m., bars and restaurants throughout Michigan are looking at the option of staying open but only providing carry out, or closing up until at least March 30th.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the move on FOX 2 News Monday morning, closing restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, movie theaters, fitness centers, casinos, and more as the state and country works through the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Monday night, only carry-out and delivery options are allowed.

For Steve Dalloo, he used his Monday to make one last stop, for now, at Toast in Ferndale.

"This place is usually packed!" Dalloo said. "How are these people going to survive being shut down for 2 or 3 months? It's crazy." 

RELATED: Here's the list of every business ordered closed by Gov. Whitmer's order

The closures are in effect until at least March 30th. According to Whitmer's executive order, restaurants can only let five people inside at a time to pick up their orders and they must stay at least six feet from each other.

Despite that, a lot of business owners say it just isn't worth staying open.

M-Brew owner Dean Bach is among them and admits to feeling the pressure. So he shut down on Monday even though the bills - and the staff - still need to be paid.

"Were all in this together, we have a lot to think about, we have a lot of new challenges to face. This is unprecedented territory," Bach said. "We've got a challenge ahead of us and hopefully we get through it."

RELATED: Track Michigan coronavirus cases by county with this interactive map

Chef Bobby Nahra of Encore Catering and Banquet Center shut down his businesses early over the weekend. He says he plans to keep his staff busy sanitizing the venues and delivering food to community centers... 

"I'm not laying anybody off. I have a couple of weeks - two to three, maybe four weeks of income stashed for a rainy day. I'm happy to share that with my staff," Chef Bobby said.

Michigan officials say COVID 19 cases are expected to continue to climb. So far, more than 50 have been confirmed in the state. The cases range from a five-year-old boy to folks in their 90s.

"It's spiking now and now is the time for action to save lives," said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter.

RELATED: Track the spread of COVID-19 with our interactive map

Whitmer signed a second executive order that temporarily expands unemployment benefits through April 14th and also gives businesses a break. 

"We greatly expanded the program for low-interest loans for businesses so that's rolling out," said Rep. Andy Levin. 

To report businesses not adhering to this executive order, call the state at 877-765-8388


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