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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, January 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Last Wednesday, January 13, Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the state’s ban on indoor dining until February 1.

Whitmer has repeatedly argued that “the science” requires her to keep Michigan restaurants and bars closed in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Indoor dining was first suspended in the state nearly three months ago. Hundreds of businesses have been forced to permanently close their doors since then. 

Despite the massive job loss – and a Michigan Supreme Court ruling in October that found Whitmer’s actions unconstitutional – the first-term liberal governor has not relented in issuing what many Michiganians now consider “tyrannical” executive orders. 

On Friday, January 15, hundreds of fed-up restaurant owners, state lawmakers, and grassroots activists gathered at the DeltaPlex, an entertainment venue located in Grand Rapids, for a non-partisan rally to reopen the state. 

Owner Joel Langlois opened his doors to the public at 6 p.m. Guests who came were able to buy gift cards from local businesses. Food and drinks were also available. Live music was played until 9:30 p.m. The festive atmosphere was a welcome experience for many Michigan couples itching to get out of their homes.

Langlois, a local businessman who ran for Congress against Peter Meijer in 2020, said Whitmer is only making the situation worse.

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Many small businesses are being forced to close temporarily or even permanently under the strain of a second wave of government-imposed COVID shutdowns.

This is totally and thoroughly wrong...especially when big business, government, and large segments of the professional world are totally insulated from the repercussions of the shutdowns.

Something drastic needs to be done now!

SIGN this urgent petition calling for state legislatures to cut the salaries of governors and mayors who are responsible for closing small businesses by enacting draconian COVID shutdown measures.

The bottom line is that the people imposing shutdown measures need to feel the bite of the restrictions they are imposing on other peoples' livelihoods so that they have a personal incentive to re-open their economies and make accommodation for the survival of small businesses.

Local restaurants, cafes, gyms, clothiers, bookshops, florists, and many more, are being forced to shut their doors, some forever.

Americans who have spent their entire lives building their business - and, taken all of the risk - stand to lose everything.

But, the following are all considered essential and never get shut down: lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, courts, big corporations, and the media...

And, to add insult to injury, some politicians who are imposing these shutdowns, like Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, are actually getting huge pay raises starting in the new year. Cuomo's raise is $25,000 next year alone!

This is utterly scandalous! It is time to say enough is enough!

If small business owners are being CRUSHED by government COVID restrictions, the politicians responsible should also feel the BITE of those restrictions!

This is the only way to make the "political class" understand how devastating their shutdowns truly are to small business owners and their employees.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, supply millions of jobs to people across the country, and ironically provide the taxes used to fund the programs so loved by most of the governors and mayors.

Because of the nature of small and medium businesses, their owners and workers are on the frontlines of the COVID crisis.

They need to be rewarded for this bravery, not closed down.

Accommodation needs to be made for small businesses so that they can weather this storm and thrive after it has passed. These are businesses we all love using, and we want them to be there long after COVID is just a bad memory.

When this is all over, do we really want every coffee shop to be a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, or every restaurant to be a McDonald's?

The answer is not only "no," but "Heck, no!"

Therefore, governors and mayors need to be personally incentivized to do everything in their power to see that small and medium businesses can survive and thrive - AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

That's why we're calling on state legislators to cut the salaries of all governors and mayors who are imposing draconian shutdowns where no accommodation is being made for small businesses.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition today!

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“We are one of three states in the country that has closed restaurants,” he told attendees. “We are the only state in the country that doesn’t have a written plan on how and when we are going to reopen.”

“These people don’t want a handout. They want to be open,” he informed LifeSite. “These small restaurants are the fabric of our communities.”

Nearly a dozen other prominent local figures addressed the crowd as well. Johnny Brann Sr., owner of Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille on the city’s west side, issued an emotional appeal to Whitmer. State Reps. Bryan Posthumus and Steve Carra also took the microphone to call on the state to be reopened.

Matthew Baker, an operations specialist at FLO’S Pizzeria, told LifeSite that Michigan’s laws have “decimated” their three, full-service restaurants.

“This sort of event here at the DeltaPlex is nice. It allows good people to have community together,” he said. “It’s also nice because it helps raise awareness and can send a message so employees who are laid off can have a voice. Governor Whitmer needs to let people make safe choices for themselves.”

Dr. Garrett Soldano, founder and former president of Stand Up Michigan, a grassroots organization, gave a rousing speech calling on peopel to make their voices heard. Current Stand Up Michigan board member and co-founder Ron Armstrong sang the national anthem and spoke about the need to preserve individual liberties.

Langlois told LifeSite that the coronavirus threat is real but that the people of Michigan are smart enough to know how to take the proper precautions for it.

“Businesses need to be allowed to operate again,” he said. “We need to get the economy going again so restaurant owners can start to recover their livelihoods.”


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