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In a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state lawmakers, The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) has asked for a phased-in plan to restart the Michigan economy, beginning May 1. LRCC’s letter to state officials came as a result of a survey of Chamber members, which showed that the business community expects to continue to experience severe challenges after restarting their businesses. The survey also showed broad support for a phased-in approach to restarting the economy after the Governor’s current “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order ends on April 30.

“We commend the Governor for her decisive leadership during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Tim Daman, president and CEO, LRCC. “The health and safety of Michigan citizens is of the highest priority during this crisis. At the same time, businesses are suffering and we must begin to take steps toward restarting our economy in a safe and sensible manner.”

One-third of LRCC members participating in the survey indicated they expect to continue to experience cash flow/liquidity issues after restarting their business. More than half the respondents said they expect challenges to retaining customers. 84% said they support a phased-in approach to restarting the economy. Below are survey results:

  1. How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
    • Deemed essential – 35%
    • Significant cash flow – 32%
    • Laid off some employees – 29%
    • Suspended operations – 27%
    • Supply chain disruptions – 21%
  2. What is the biggest challenge on returning to business as usual?
    • Retaining customers – 52%
    • Liquidity/cash flow issues – 50%
    • Implement new health protocols – 47%
    • Bringing back employees – 21%
    • Availability of vendors or supply chain – 21%
    • Ramping up production to meet new demands – 18%
  3.  If the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” EO is extended beyond April 30, do you think it should apply to the whole state or should it be based on hot spots/high-risk geographic regions?
    • It should be geographically based/limited to high risk regions – 51%
    • It should apply to the whole state – 30%
    • Not sure – 14%
  4. Do you support a phased-in approach to restarting economic activities?
    • Yes – 84%
    • Not sure – 8%
    • No–3%

“We want to ensure that all our citizens are safe and healthy and we need to ensure the health of our job providers in this state,” said Daman. “We also need to strategically consider how we can recover from COVID-19 and protect our quality of life after the crisis has passed.”