Alliance Supports Midwest Governors

The Alliance recently joined forces with numerous chambers across the Midwest and Great Lakes region to support a coordinated reopening of our economy. Nearly 40 organizations supported the following statement:

“Businesses throughout the Midwest and Ohio River Valley are anxious to get back to work while maintaining the wellbeing of our workforce and communities.

Successfully combatting COVID-19 will require aggressive, collaborative action among governments, health care professionals, businesses, and citizens.  While actions taken in our individual states are central to our own recoveries, we all will continue to be impacted by decisions made – and not made – in other locales.

Recognizing that our economies are interconnected and that people regularly cross state boundaries to access jobs, services, and supplies, we support the efforts of our Governors to work together to establish coordinated recovery plans and protocols that will strengthen our economy and preserve our health and safety.

As organizations representing businesses in some of the hardest hit and most important economic engines in the nation, we will continue to serve as critical counselors to our leaders in our state capitols and Washington DC.”

Alliance Advocates for Northern MI Representation

In northern Michigan, we are aware that there is certainly no one-size-fits-all approach for many policy issues, and COVID-19 recovery efforts are no different. Rural northern Michigan businesses are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic differently than other areas in our state. Our communities and economies greatly rely on tourism and eventsWe are anxiously looking ahead for how we can ensure the vibrancy of our communities during this difficult time. On Wednesday, the Alliance submitted a letter to the Governor recognizing these differences in northern Michigan and advocating for the inclusion of our region in reopening discussions. The constructive letter offered the contact information of five industry representatives from across northern Michigan and the UP. The Alliance will continue to add our perspective in these conversations as we work to open up our economy safely 

Alliance Advocates for Bars & Restaurants

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission recently announced they wanted feedback from bars and restaurants on how we could support this industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission has also formed a task force to explore the feedback and suggestions. The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance formally submitted feedback and is eager to be included in conversations of the task force. Requests and feedback provided to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission included:

  • Allow for Michigan Small Distillers to conduct direct-to-consumer sales and shipping.
  • Allow for Class-C licensees to sell sealed, to-go mixed spirit drinks in a similar fashion to what is allowed under an SDM and/or Brewpub license (e.g., growlers of beer, cans of cider, and bottles of wine).
  • Further extend the delay in liquor license fees so that businesses may maintain their capital for operating functions.
  • Allow for expanded outdoor seating so that bars and restaurants may utilize outdoor areas, including parking lots, to socially distance customers.
  • Allow bars and restaurants with an existing liquor license to open an additional bar in these expanded spaces.
  • Allow for golf courses to operate beverage carts and bar service with social distancing and other appropriate protocols in place.
  • The Commission to provide guidance for anti-COVID-19 protocols (social distancing, cleaning procedures, etc.) to licensees to ensure adherence to the Michigan Economic Recovery Council’s metrics for assessing business risk.

The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance will continue to advocate for solutions that honor our rural way of life and businesses.

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