As Whitmer is overruled, local businesses open

ISHPEMING — Local bars and restaurants are returning to business, after a key decision rolled out of Lansing last week.

Last Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency declaration, along with her executive orders, were unconstitutional. That ruling has allowed businesses around the state to open their doors. Additionally, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced she wouldn’t prosecute businesses that opened their doors.

For businesses like the Paradise Bar in Ishpeming, the ruling couldn’t have come soon enough.

“Unfortunately, this COVID has affected everybody in many negative ways,” said Ernie Lindsey, co-owner of the Paradise Bar. “But man, it’s been hard on us small businesses, especially us bars. It’s just been brutal. Just getting by by the skin of our teeth.”

Businesses like the Paradise Bar are still doing their part in preventing the spread of the COVID–19 virus. Their efforts have one goal in mind: practice due diligence now, in hopes to return to normal as soon as possible.

“I would hope everything goes back to normal for good now,” said Wesley Leece, the other co-owner of the Paradise Bar. “I think it’s time that people get back to their small businesses and the way of life we’re supposed to, and maintain social distancing and maintain masks, and let’s try to get back to some normalcy.”

After months of stressing about paying bills with no revenue, places like the Paradise Bar are happy to be open.

“With everything, with our mortgage payments and all the insurances and everything else, the bills have to be paid no matter what, and once you lose your business, you don’t get it back. So we’re very happy to have our business open,” added Leece.

Questions still remain, however. Governor Whitmer has requested clarification on when the ruling would take effect; if they take effect October 30th like the governor requested, then bars would have to close for the month.

And if the ruling took effect immediately, bars could stay open, but up to 830,000 Michiganders could lose unemployment benefits.

The reason? The ruling rescinds Governor Whitmer’s executive order that extended the benefits.

We will continue to follow this story, and the Paradise Bar, as more developments emerge.