Earlier today, it was announced that Governor Whitmer made the decision to close all bars and restaurants, as well as many other businesses including movie theaters, gyms and casinos throughout the state at 3 p.m. today. The order will be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on March 30.
PRESS RELEASE FROM GOVERNOR’S OFFICE:
Restaurants are still allowed to sell food and beverages via delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service or drive-up service. That includes beer and wine if you have an SDM license. Bars and restaurants with an SDM license can also deliver beer and wine to people’s homes as long as the driver is 21-years-old.
The MLBA is deeply unhappy about this unfortunate situation that will hurt many small businesses financially. The overall impact will be devastating to the hospitality industry.
We knew something like this was likely to happen in Michigan, based on actions in other states, however, we are disappointed the industry had to learn this groundbreaking news from the media, which caused panic and confusion. Businesses were not given notice ahead of time and industry groups were not consulted.
With that said, we understand the importance of being here for members and the industry, especially regarding news and updates that are popping up sporadically. We will also be working to curb the devastating effects to your business.
Currently, we have someone in Washington D.C. working with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the federal government to find financial assistance for bar and restaurant owners in Michigan. We are also working on emergency legislation to help keep bartenders and servers paid during these trying times.
Based on the number of calls received about what happens if an establishment does not close, we reached out to MLCC Chairman Gagliardi. If a business remains open, they will face criminal charges (misdemeanor) as well as violations from the MLCC. Chairman Gagliardi spoke adamantly about cracking down on businesses that refuse to close, stating that those businesses would risk suspended licenses.
The MLCC also issued an executive order on March 13, to extend the annual license expiration date for liquor licensees from April 30 to May 31.
We will continue to send out updates frequently to keep you informed with the most current information.