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Financial consultant and turnaround advisor Patrick O’Keefe told The Detroit News it’s good that these restaurants are banning together and going to the government directly.
“I think that strategically, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association may be the wrong advocacy group to promote this because of their tumultuous relationship with the Governor,” he said. “Maybe it’s good that a few of these owners are standing up on their own and trying to have their voice heard.”
This week the MRLA, along with two restaurant groups, lost a court battle to have the temporary order halted. Also this week, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission suspended the liquor license of three more Michigan restaurants for defying the order.
O’Keefe, who is founder and CEO of O’Keefe consulting firm in Bloomfield Hills, said that even if there is a bailout from the state or federal government for restaurants,the $100 million figure that Whitmer has mentioned is not enough.
“She keeps touting this $100 million bailout like it’s some magic bullet here,” he said, adding that if the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association figures are correct, there are at least 300,000 restaurant workers laid off or furloughed with dining rooms closed.
“That $100 million wouldn’t provide much more than $300 to every worker in the restaurant business that’s laid off. Three hundred bucks, that’s it,” he said. “And is only that industry. It’s not earmarked for the restaurant industry, it’s for all workers that are impacted. So, $100 million… it’s nothing.”