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Local organizations react to state's reopening news

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 15:44:28-04

MICHIGAN — Local organizations are praising the state's decision to lift all capacity and mask restrictions next week.

Gov. Whitmer had originally planned to lift restrictions on July 1.

READ MORE: Gov. Whitmer: Michigan to lift all COVID-19 restrictions June 22

The Grand Rapids Chamber says the news is "cause for celebration."

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"Today's announcement by Governor Whitmer that the state will open to full capacity on June 22nd is cause for celebration. After 15-months of uncertainty and fear, businesses are finally on the other side of this pandemic and can begin operating at their normal revenue levels.

"Our members have been ready to reopen their gathering spaces, venues, movie theaters, restaurants, breweries and all the places that people come together to create memories and celebrate life's moments. We know many members are still in the red, but together we can come together and support our businesses to return West Michigan to its full vibrancy."
Rick Baker, president & CEO of Grand Rapids Chamber

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association also said the news was positive for the hospitality industry.

“It’s been a long time since many people have been able to enjoy a normal night out on the town with dinner, dancing and drinks. Bar owners, servers and bartenders are excited to see their old regulars and fresh new, maskless, faces. The hospitality industry just wasn’t the same without its smile.”
Scott Ellis, MLBA executive director

Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association President & CEO Justin Winslow also responded to the news.

"The hospitality industry received transcendent news today that will finally move it past 463 days of closure, capacity restrictions and elevated regulatory scrutiny that forced more than one in six Michigan restaurants to close their doors for good. The challenges ahead remain daunting for many, but this industry is resilient, adaptive and ready to meet this newfound opportunity head on.

The MRLA will focus its efforts going forward on sensible workforce solutions that benefit employers and employees alike. We also will advocate for the strategic investment of federal dollars to help restore the hospitality industry to its rightful place as one of opportunity and as an ambassador to all that is Pure Michigan."