Lakeshore businesses adjust to holiday weekend in midst of the pandemic

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jul 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-05 23:19:31-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Businesses along the lakeshore wrapped up another holiday weekend Sunday.

The Fourth of July usually brings thousands of people to communities like Grand Haven, helping the family-run stores that line the city’s downtown.

However, in the midst of the pandemic, some found themselves busy while others think the ongoing threat of the virus is preventing people from stopping in.

“Fourth of July has been pretty busy,” said Hannah Anderson, sales associate at Pink Lemonade. “We’ve almost hit capacity like every day which is great. Business is booming.”

Anderson says the children’s boutique is busy, which is a relief after shutting down in March like other businesses in Michigan due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“I think it will help bring more people in throughout August and people that are travelling, they keep saying they’re going to come back,” said Anderson. “I think that’s a good sign.”

Up the street at The Kirby House, it’s a similar scene with people eating and listening to music.

“People are really excited to get back out, get back to hanging, drinking, eating all together,” said Kate Zick, manager.

Zick says it brings some normalcy to the holiday weekend after the virus cancelled many of the community’s annual traditions and most businesses now require masks and social distancing, including theirs.

She says financially it’s not the same when the restaurant can only do 50 percent of its normal business, but explains they’ve neared it this weekend.

“We were really surprised, kind of really impressed by how many people wanted to come out, and still do come out, and are still supporting us,” said Zick.

It’s something that can’t be said for their neighbors at Oddside Ales.

“We’ve had a lot of quiet times,” said Colleen Mitchner, owner.

Mitchner says sales this Fourth of July weekend are about 25-30 percent of their normal business which puts the business back even further.

However, she says that’s okay.

“Even though, as business owners, we all want the business, but in the end, it’s all about keeping people safe,” said Mitchner. “I think that’s a good thing because we were able to keep six feet no problem, we didn’t have to move anyone.”

The Ottawa County Health Department says it is monitoring the cases and will track any hot spots over the next few weeks.