Cole urges Gov. to OK more businesses to operate

State Rep. Triston Cole today called on the governor to allow some “non-essential” businesses to resume operations, if social distancing recommendations can be followed.

Cole, of Mancelona, sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pointing out that her stay-at-home order has been unnecessarily restrictive on many small businesses, particularly construction and landscape operations.

“I certainly understand where our governor is coming from. Public safety must always be the main priority,” Cole said. “However, keeping people employed and businesses operating must also be a priority. Many entities operate with just one, two or three people in any location at any given time. Single-family new construction projects, remodels, pole barn/garages, landscaping, dock work, lawn maintenance, delivery of materials, and several other jobs can be completed with very limited social interaction and without jeopardizing public safety.”

In the letter, Cole suggested the governor could enact certain guidelines and restrictions that allow business to be conducted while still adhering to health and safety guidelines. For example, he suggested limiting crew sizes or allowing crews to stagger throughout a 24-hour timeline.

“When circumstances allow, small job providers should be allowed to continue their work,” Cole said. “Better defining what work activities can continue under the limited and modified circumstances will help take the financial and emotional strain off many families.”

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