COVID-19 Restrictions Relaxed
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released a new COVID–19 public health order that relaxes some pandemic-related restrictions. Beginning Friday, 3/5/21, through Monday, 4/19/21:
- Restaurants and bars can accept indoor diners subject to a 50% capacity limit up to 100 people with an 11:00 p.m. curfew
- Retail shops can operate at 50% capacity
- Indoor nonresidential gatherings are permitted for up to 25 people and outdoor nonresidential gatherings are permitted up to 300 people
- Residential gatherings are limited to 15 people from three households indoors and 50 people outdoors
- Indoor entertainment venues can operate at 50% capacity, up to 300 people
- Indoor stadiums and arenas with seating capacity under 10,000 can admit 375 people while larger facilities can admit 750 people
- Outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities can host up to 1,000 people
- Exercise facilities and casinos can increase their operation to 30% of capacity
While the order continues to require employees who can work from home to do so, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that she will form a workgroup to look toward returning workers to office settings. MMA President & CEO John Walsh has called for the continued reengagement of the full complement of Michigan’s workforce and MMA will continue to work closely with the Whitmer Administration to make progress toward normalcy.
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility is Expanding
More than 79,000 food processing and agriculture workers in Michigan are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. This group includes food processing workers such as workers at meat processing and meatpacking facilities, workers who process fruit and vegetables, dairy processing, animal feed manufacturing, food and animal feed ingredient manufacturing, beverage production and the production of food packaging. MMA joined with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to announce this next phase of vaccine eligibility.
Additionally, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that beginning Monday, 3/8/21, Michiganders 50 and older with medical conditions or disabilities, as well as caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. On Monday, 3/22/21, all individuals 50 and older will be eligible.
Those who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine should visit michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine for the latest information and schedule an appointment through the following means:
- Check the website of your local health department or hospital for sign-ups or registration forms.
- Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or call 2-1-1. Multiple languages available.
- Check additional vaccination sites, such as local pharmacies like Meijer, Rite Aid and Cardinal Health (U.P. residents).
New & Notable
Legislature Passes COVID-19
Bills with UITF Support
Three supplemental appropriations bills totaling $4.25 billion in COVID-19 relief funding have been sent to Governor Gretchen Whitmer. In addition to funding for COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution, schools, direct care workers and rental and food assistance, the package includes $150 million supported by MMA to prevent tax increases to employers who fund the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund (UITF), which has been hit hard by record unemployment and fraud.
The package also includes $405 million for tax and fee relief for businesses experiencing significant financial hardship related to the pandemic. Of particular interest to manufacturers, $300 million would be available for a property tax relief program and $55 million for an unemployment insurance tax relief program for affected businesses.
MMA’s Government Affairs team is available to assist manufacturers with questions about COVID-19 funding, orders and emergency rules. Contact MMA’s Dave Worthams at 517-487-8511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webinar: Money on the Table:
Use ERC & PPP Programs to Your Advantage
Host: Clayton & McKervey
(MMA Premium Associate Member)
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.
PPP1, PPP2 — and now ERC. As business owners wade through the acronyms to find support throughout the pandemic, they may find more questions than answers.
MMA and the CPAs at Clayton & McKervey will unpack the issues so you don’t leave money on the table.
Shareholders Jim Biehl and Sarah Russell will also look at the unintended consequences of using one or more of these programs without a full understanding of the impact. Tune in Tuesday, 3/23/21 at 1:00 p.m. to learn how to use government programs to your advantage in 2021 and beyond.