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Whitmer asks small businesses to be patient with COVID-19 orders


Governor Gretchen Whitmer asked business owners Thursday to be patient with executive orders and other actions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Whitmer engaged in an online session with the Small Business Association of Michigan.

She said it’s important that businesses be held to the existing standard of taking “reasonable” efforts to provide a safe environment.

“I think that is a standard that most businesses are already living up to and should give business owners some comfort that if they’re taking reasonable care to do what they need to do to keep their employees and their customers safe, they’re going to be in good shape,” she said.

The governor said efforts to contain the virus are working in Michigan.

“We have to remember that in the bigger book, in the bigger story, this is going to be a chapter," Whitmer said. "And, so to try to keep people doing what we need to do in this moment in hopes that our doing so will put us in a stronger position when that vaccine is available.”

The governor also told the business group she does not favor making it harder to sue employers that fail to protect employees and customers from COVID-19 infections.

She said businesses that are doing the rights things are already protected.

Republicans in the Legislature have proposed bills to provide more liability protections for businesses that re-open as executive orders are lifted.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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