Bumstead issues statement on additional delay of restaurant openings

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, issued the following statement Wednesday in response to the announcement that bars and restaurants must remain closed for indoor dining until Feb. 1:

“I am disappointed in the decision to further restrict the lives of Michigan residents, and hurt the financial future of local bar and restaurant owners.

“I have had conversations with these business owners and many have gone above and beyond to comply with COVID-19 guidelines and state-mandated shutdowns. Many believe they can safely reopen, but unfortunately these small business owners and their employees continue to suffer despite their proven ability to operate safely.

“It is vital that we protect the health and welfare of everyone in our state, but we must be thoughtful about how these orders continue to affect businesses — especially those that have shown they follow all of the safety guidelines and have already spent the money to make the necessary safety improvements.

“We have witnessed businesses and residents across the state following recommended guidelines, social distancing, practicing good hygiene and wearing masks. We’ve been able to go to the gas station, grocery store, big box stores and other public places while keeping ourselves and our fellow citizens safe.

“I do not believe that reopening bars and restaurants would put our residents at an enhanced risk, especially as the state continues the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. Between that and the heightened safety measures, I think it’s time to reopen bars and restaurants.

“Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all approach is the current strategy for Michigan. While I may disagree with this approach, I plan to continue working with the governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to advocate for our local businesses still affected by state mandates.”

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