GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association represents as many as 2,000 bars in Michigan.
They're happy about Governor Whitmer's newest requirement, where businesses must enforce mask policies or those breaking the rules could face a misdemeanor charge and up to a $500 fine.
“We are excited about this order. We’ve actually worked with the governor’s office to put some sort of enforcement and put some of the responsibility on the patron,” Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director Scott Ellis said.
Executive Director Scott Ellis says they're training employees at the bars within their association on de-escalation techniques when having to confront patrons not wearing a mask.
“We’ve been getting caught in the middle of a political battle. Our servers and our front-line workers in the industry are caught in the middle whether masks work or don’t work, it’s my right, right now, there’s no choice, it’s the law,” Ellis said.
For Ellis, the requirement evens the playing field, by making it a requirement for all bars and restaurants to legally comply. He says it's his hope that the new restrictions make it so case levels stay low and bars and restaurants are allowed to continue operating.