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Menominee businesses close after warning

MENOMINEE — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office — in tandem with Menominee County Prosecutor Jeffrey Rogg – sent cease and desist letters today to three Menominee County businesses for failing to comply with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, which limits business operations during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The letters were sent to Auto Credit Center, Grow Masters Indoor & Outdoor Gardening Supplies and Holy Smokes Tobacco Shop, all based in Menominee. None of the businesses is considered critical infrastructure under the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order and none should be maintaining on-site operations, but reports indicated they were still open.

Upon receiving the letters that were delivered by Michigan State Police troopers, all three businesses contacted officials and indicated they would comply with the executive order. Due to it selling grocery items, Grow Masters Indoor & Outdoor Gardening Supplies will be able to provide curbside service for agricultural purposes only.

“I appreciate the cooperation of Prosecutor Rogg in enforcing the Governor’s executive order, and I would stress again to business owners that they must follow the Stay Home, Stay Safe order,” Nessel said. “These are unprecedented times and we all must work together to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Again, I appreciate the work of law enforcement agencies throughout our state, and I ask that you take appropriate action to address any violations reported to your offices.”

“There is a big difference between the need for food and for cigarettes, smoking supplies or financing a used car,” Rogg said. “The idea behind our local enforcement effort is to limit our citizens’ exposure to others by keeping them home, as much as possible, during this crucial time. I see the continued operation of these businesses as an unnecessary risk to public health, which has the potential to encourage others to try to get around the Governor’s closure orders.”

Willful violations of the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can result in a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each offense. Violations should be reported to law enforcement agencies overseeing the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred.

The Attorney General’s office recently added a new section to its website, Know Your Employment Rights, to provide Michigan residents with more information on the legal rights of employees and employers under the executive order.

Additional information for employers can be found on the Guidance for Business page on the state’s website devoted to COVID-19.

A summary of the activities people can and cannot do under the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can be found online here.

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