A Michigan restaurateur impacted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown orders sought to apply for a grant last week to keep her business open, only to end up 8,917th in line.
Kim Ledy, who owns Deli Deli in Pickford in the eastern Upper Peninsula, said her business suffered after the initial coronavirus shutdown order in March, but was able to survive due to its drive-through option.
But Whitmer’s second shutdown order, which occurred in November, “That one has really, really hurt our business,” Ledy said.
“We just want to be able to open back up,” Ledy told Breitbart News.
The toll is not just financial, she said.
“People love to come inside and eat and fellowship and the relationships, I think, are what’s missing,” she said.
Ledy said the state allowed her establishment to have outside dining, which is not practical, given Pickford’s geography.
Located just miles from Canada, it is predicted to be as cold as 12 degrees this week in Pickford, according to Weather.com.
“We haven’t had anyone do that,” she said.
Ledy said her business is complying with all of the safety measures ordered by the government.
She told Breitbart News she attempted to apply for a Pure Michigan Small Business Relief grant and logged on at the specified time, and was 8,917th in line.
“Ten hours later, I was finally able to apply, then it said they would contact us in January, or 45 days, to see if you even qualify,” Ledy said.
If she did qualify for the grant, which was up to $15,000, then there would be another round of applications and waiting, with no assurance of success.
Whitmer recently ordered that restaurants cannot offer in-person dining until January 15, an extension of her original three-week “pause” ordered in November.
The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) recently said 5,600 restaurant operators predict they will not be in business in six months if the lockdown continues.
“That is people’s livelihoods, that is how they pay their bills, that is how they make it,” Ledy said.
“It’s sad to see that happen when it doesn’t have to,” she added.
“Let us be open and do our job safely like all of the other businesses,” Ledy said.
Forty-eight percent of restaurateurs said they are considering temporarily closing their establishment until the pandemic passes, according to the MRLA.