As the state of Michigan continues to face the ongoing pandemic, business leaders in the state are supporting efforts to suppress the spread of the disease. The following statement can be attributed to the Great Lakes Business Network executive committee. The Great Lakes Business Network is a coalition of over 170 businesses that are committed to protecting the Great Lakes region from threats to the natural environment.
Executive committee members include: Larry Bell, Founder and President, Bell’s Brewery and Upper Hand Brewery and Great Lakes Business Network Co-Chair; Juliette King, Kings Orchard and Great Lakes Business Network Co-Chair; Autumn Sands, Sustainable Research Group; Beryl Skrocki, Owner, Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak; Bob Sutherland, President, Cherry Republic; Chris Shepler, President, Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry; Noah Marshall-Rashid Co-owner, American Spoon; Peter Laing Partner, MAWBY Vineyards; Rich Bergmann, Managing Partner, Round Lake Group LLC; and Nicole Granados, Chicago District Environmental Coordinator, Patagonia.
“The Great Lakes Business Network members are focused on the health and well-being of our employees, customers, families and the most vulnerable citizens during this unprecedented crisis. The extension and expansion of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order until May 1 from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer impacts our businesses in tough ways, but we recognize that these measures are necessary to keep us safe and healthy, and to ultimately re-open our economy as soon as feasible.
“Many of our businesses depend on summer tourism, and we stand committed to doing all that we can now in the hopes that short-term painful restrictions will lead to a better chance for a strong economic rebound in time for peak tourism and an eventual return to normalcy. We appreciate the aid that has already been provided to help businesses through these extraordinarily tough times and urge our political leaders to continue to build and expedite this support.
“Our businesses depend not only on the ability of people to gather but also on the availability of clean water, so we urge Governor Whitmer to further protect our businesses by taking the strong actions she promised to decommission Line 5, build out our clean energy future and protect Lake Erie from harmful algal blooms. The GLBN stands ready to work with Governor Whitmer and all of our leaders during this time of crisis and beyond.”