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Governor Whitmer meets with small businesses in Clare

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited Clare on Thursday to meet with small businesses and talk about what kind of supports they need.

The Governor met with a roundtable of mid-Michigan businesses including representatives from Cops and Doughnuts and the Clare Dougherty Hotel.

Whitmer pointed to one of her new directives, which requires the state to increase the number of contracts it has with small businesses, as proof that she wants to help small businesses as best she can.

“We should be making sure that if a small business has a great product or a great service they really have a fair shot at getting business from the state of Michigan.”

Brian Calley, former Lieutenant Governor under Rick Snyder, is with the Small Business Association of Michigan. He said the directive requires the state to have at least three percent of its business contracts with small businesses in geographically disadvantaged areas.

“In setting out a goal like three percent it might not sound like a lot but the state of Michigan makes billions of dollars in purchases. So this is a strong commitment and one that could totally change the world for small businesses in those areas.”

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Greg Rynearson of Cops and Doughnuts

Greg Rynearson is one of the original owners of Cops and Doughnuts in Clare. He said it was good to have the Governor in small-town Michigan.

“She could have gone to around Central Michigan, Mount Pleasant is just down the road with CMU, but she chose small-town Michigan. I think that shows a deep love for all of us.”

Other business representatives said they’d like to see a scaling of public benefits to help incentivize people to work full time.

They said because full-time employment means some people are no longer eligible for public assistance it disincentivizes work.

During a short speech after the meeting, Governor Whitmer said she has been coming to Cops and Doughnuts for a long time - although never with quite as much scrutiny about what kind of doughnut she was eating.