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Industry group warns as many as one third of restaurants and hotels could close permanently

Inspiration Food

An industry group says as many as one third of Michigan’s restaurants and hotels could close in the wake of the coronavirus.

The National branch of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association posted numbers projecting some 108-thousand Michigan workers, both directly and indirectly related to hotel operations, could lose their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak.

Justin Winslow, with the Association, said those losses will eventually ripple out to the entire economy.

“We’re about 9% of the state’s GDP. We are a travel and tourism heavy state. The impact that we feel immediately here will cascade into the broader economy if we can’t find a way to move past the dangerous time that we are in right now.”

Winslow said keeping the industry afloat is a race against time.

“An average restaurant only has about 7 days of liquidity before that crunch starts to hit. We’re trying to find as many avenues as possible to try and get liquidity, for cash, into the hands of restaurant and hotel owners.”

According to Winslow, the stimulus package passed by Congress could help delay closures in the short term. But he said it’s ultimately a matter of how long “stay at home” orders remain in place.