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'It’s devastating': Calley talks shutdown's impact on small business

Several businesses are closing up shop during the state-ordered shutdown
Posted at 11:39 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 23:49:23-04

LANSING, Mich. — Small businesses and their workers already feeling the effects of an economy shutting down.

We’ve seen several companies around West Michigan close their doors during this temporary shutdown and leaders in the business community fear the lasting effects could be permanent.

Former Lt. Governor Brian Calley, now president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, spoke with FOX 17 on Facetime.

“It’s devastating for small business, unfortunately many of them will not survive,” Calley said about the shutdown of businesses across the state.

"This is unlike anything we've ever seen,' I mean even in the Great Recession, there was never a point when everything just stopped so we’re in unprecedented territory here,” Calley said.

Calley says right now they need more clarification on which smaller businesses are considered essential under Governor Whitmer’s new stay-at-home order.

"We not in a position to question whether [ was necessary or not we assumed that it was or else she wouldn't have done it so it's important that we we approach it first from a standpoint of public health is the is the top primary concern," Calley said.

“Businesses and employees don't operate in these kinds of narrow operational zones, so what happens with the gray areas? That's we are going to have to get to the bottom of,” Calley explained.

“Once things shut down there are a lot of things it's really hard to get that going again,” he added.

As restaurants, gyms, salons and shops across the state close their doors, Calley says the next steps are critical to their survival

“I think the most important thing that we can do is to provide as much support as we can to keep to people connected to their employers and that means payroll support. Probably would have to come from DC and in hope that the aggressive actions that are taken right now means that it's bad but it's only bad for a short time,” Calley said.

“Unfortunately, things have slowed down a little bit there in DC as well, with some of the partisan fighting back and forth. But it is going to require a robust federal response,” Calley added.

Like most, they're hoping this all passes sooner than later.

“Naturally though the healthcare considerations have to come first. But I hope there is a strong sense for what constitutes success, so we don't inadvertently carry this on longer than they need to,” Calley said.