KEY BUSINESS-FOCUSED ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS MICHIGAN CALL ON RESIDENTS TO GET VACCINATED
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 30, 2021 — More than 50 organizations from across the state signed on to a letter this week calling on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to set a schedule to lift restrictions on indoor meetings and events in Michigan, acknowledging the importance of the vaccine in that process.
“In support of a reopening – and to protect lives and livelihoods – we join you in advocating that ALL adults in Michigan, including our employees, colleagues, constituents, member organizations, vendors and clients, get a vaccine as soon as possible,” the letter stated.
Representatives from chambers of commerce, convention and visitors’ bureaus, convention centers and event venues, sports commissions, and organized labor, as well as several mayors, had urged the Governor to consider reopening indoor meeting, convention and event venues by June 1 at 50% capacity and by July 1 at 75% capacity.
Yesterday’s announcement by the Governor detailing the new “MI Vacc to Normal Challenge” instead outlined a timetable for reopening driven by statewide vaccination rates.
“While it’s clear that our proposed schedule cannot happen, we stand with the Governor in calling on everyone 16 and older to get their vaccine as soon as possible,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “That is our path to saving lives, protecting health, opening Michigan businesses, restarting meetings, conventions and events, restoring jobs and recovering billions in lost revenue.”
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services restrictions limiting occupancy at indoor meeting and event venues to 25 people have effectively shuttered the meetings, conventions and events industries. The group says it is critical to our state’s economy and to the future of these industries in Michigan to gain some certainty about reopening.
Business Groups and Supporters Advocate for Vaccine – Page 2
April 30, 2021
“We’ve been asking for metrics. Now we have them. We all need to make the vaccine our number one priority to get our industry open, our people back to work and our economy back on track,” said Claude Molinari, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors
“The devastation to Michigan’s hospitality industry due to COVID-19 is measured by the thousands of jobs and the millions of dollars in economic impact lost over the past year,” Molinari said. “Metro Detroit, a region that directly employs over 200,000 residents in this sector, has felt the loss immensely. Michigan’s hospitality community has and will continue to focus diligently on how to safely and strategically deliver outstanding meeting experiences – that starts with a commitment from all of us to get vaccinated.”
With the State’s timetable now tied to vaccination rates, the group will turn its attention to encouraging their employees, colleagues, members, constituents and communities to get the vaccine so we can fully open our economy.
“We commend President Biden for making the vaccine a top priority, and we fully support the State in its strong vaccination campaign,” said Andy Schor, Mayor, City of Lansing. “We also support all those employed and operating businesses in the hospitality, meetings and events industries. We call on everyone who shares our desire to bring these industries back to get their vaccine.”
The group has advocated for a schedule that will allow CVBs, convention centers, event venues and other organizations to book conventions, meetings, tournaments, concerts and other events with a higher degree of certainty. Under the State’s new plan, that can happen when roughly 10% more Michigan adults get their first vaccine.
“Thousands of Michigan trade show, convention, entertainment and event workers lost their jobs during the pandemic – and most of them are still unemployed,” said Joseph Miller, business agent for the Detroit Stage Employees Union, IATSE Local 38, and vice president, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO. “We have appreciated the Governor’s strong stand in keeping Michigan’s labor force safe throughout this pandemic. We’re hopeful that the people of Michigan will take a similar stand, get their vaccines and help us get people back to work.”