By Jessica Mathews /

State Senator Lana Theis expressed disappointment that Governor Gretchen Whitmer didn’t make any re-opening announcements for still-closed businesses during her Wednesday press conference.

Fitness centers, movie theaters, bowling alleys, rinks and similar businesses have been closed since March, except in much of northern Michigan where they were allowed to re-open in June. Whitmer said she wants to get the protocols correct and would make an announcement very soon. The Detroit Free Press reported Monday that Whitmer is expected to announce a reopening plan this week. Theis, a Brighton Township Republican, is inviting business owners throughout the 22nd Senate District to sign on to her letter urging the Governor to allow more businesses to re-open.

Theis said throughout Livingston and Washtenaw Counties, and across the whole of Michigan, thousands of private businesses remain shuttered and their employees remain without work due to the governor’s "draconian" executive orders in response to COVID-19. Theis said Michigan is no longer facing the same health situation it was in March but added everyone will be facing a man-made economic disaster that could take years to overcome if Michiganders don’t get back to work. Theis said the focus must be on what work can be done safely instead of subjective decisions about who may be ‘essential’ or ‘nonessential’ – adding livelihoods are essential to everyone and businesses that remain closed under the governor’s orders should be allowed to safely reopen with measures that have already been applied to those that have already reopened.

Whitmer has said she and her team are "working around the clock" to make sure that all of their decisions are based on the best available data and science.

A copy of the letter is attached. Those interested in signing their name to the letter can fill out a form on Theis' webpage through the provided link. Copies of the signed letter will be delivered to Governor Whitmer’s office.