JACK O’MALLEY: Supporting Small Businesses Supports Michigan’s Friends, Neighbors and Economy

COVID-19 has had a vast, complex and unprecedented impact on our state.

I have been consistent in saying throughout this crisis that there are COVID patients who have suffered from this terrible virus as well as economic patients who have tried to navigate the decrees and departmental guidelines that have been issued in reply. The health of both in the future is critical.

The day after Thanksgiving … (signaled) the official start of holiday shopping – a very popular time for commerce. I ask people to be aware of the sacrifices small business had to make this year when you make a list and double check it.

Small businesses have faced crippling closures that have prevented their owners and workers from making a living through no fault of their own. They have been unable to keep the people who have been with them for years on the payroll. They had to purchase personal protective equipment to keep workers and customers safe. Small businesses are suffering greatly from this upheaval. Some have already gone out of business after decades of existence. Some are on the verge of sinking and just hang on with each passing month.

This month could be a watershed month for many small businesses, and that is why I will continue to fight in the legislature to keep them safe and reasonable instead of shutting them down.

I have heard from countless people working in different professions in the four counties I represent at Michigan House – Benzie, Leelanau, Manistee and Mason. I’ve heard how damaging restrictions are entering the summer tourist season – a vital time for the local economies of northern Michigan. I have heard from restaurant and bar owners who operate on a limited basis when bills and overhead still need to be paid. Main Street is constantly shrinking even before this pandemic, and local businesses are being pushed to their limits and beyond now.

So when and where we can, do our best to support these local job providers over the holiday season. It may be the most important holiday shopping season for small businesses in 75 years. These are the people who buy directory ads, sponsor youth sports teams, donate to charity auctions, and provide summer jobs for our kids so they can have some hard-earned spending money. won.

The Michigan Legislature has consistently approved resolutions over the past few years designating a week of the year as “Buy Nearby Week” statewide – urging shoppers to look to local retail outlets and highlighting additional economic activity estimated at $ 9 billion that would come from people in Michigan shopping locally.

Let’s expand that “Buy Nearby” support beyond a week during the holiday season, as Michigan’s small businesses do the best they can for their employees and customers – and they’re always there for our communities.

Representative Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, is in his first term at Michigan House serving residents of the 101st District, which includes Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties.

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