The coronavirus is forcing  small businesses to rethink some of their business strategies. Whether it's workforce, closings, or customer care, local business owners are trying to keep customers happy, workers healthy, and the business going. Some are now facing a major lack of support that is far from what they expected during a national "pull together" time.

Business owners like Erica Markee of Grand Blanc have reached out to building landlords to request temporary rent adjustments while business as usual is on hold. The owner of Mainstream Boutique in Grand Blanc has made adjustments over the past week both according to restrictions and for the health and safety for her customers as well as her employees.

Markee made the tough decision to close her doors at the beginning of the week and has been relying heavily on social media promotions and customer loyalty purchases, but that may not be enough to keep things where she needs them to be.

Markee said she reached out to the management firm A.F.Jonna that handles the leasing of her location as well as many others located in the Grand Blanc located plaza. She explained in a letter that she depended on people coming into the store to shop and that without it the impact could be devastating. She asked if the company could "suspend rent until there are guidance changes and people can return to shop".

Markee even went on to state she wolud be open to adding time to the end of her lease term and was looking for solutions that would make it a win-win for both parties.

Markee received a response today stating that although they understood her concerns towards the ongoing developments A.F. Jonna would be unable to approve the rent reduction request.


This type of situation is devastating to not only Markee, but many other small business owners facing uncertainty at this time. "I'm mad. How are closed small businesses supposed to get by?" Markee went on to say, "Their response was to 'get a loan'. Not everyone is going to get approved and it's a long process!"

Markee said that so far the store has had loving support from their customers and that she is doing daily deliveries and free shipping. Still, she notes "It's a scary time for small business retail.  I'm just taking it day by day."

Be sure to reach out to your favorite local businesses and see what they offer as alternatives for shopping and food services. Support Local!

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