FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -(01/13/21)-“Our restaurant owners have made considerable sacrifices over the past 10 months to keep communities safe, and to save lives. And there’s no question it’s been hard for the owners for their employees. I know that it has not been easy,” said Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Governor Whitmer--- acknowledging the economic hardship restaurant owners and their staff have faced ---due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions that have included the temporary elimination of in-person dining at places like Cork located in downtown Flint.

“Luckily, I’m a 73 seat restaurant are small, so it’s easy for me to upstart fairly quickly and get product in and everyone’s very eager to get back to work, of course,” said Cork on Saginaw owner, Marjorie Murphy.

Marjorie Murphy’s Cork on Saginaw wine bar and restaurant has been a staple in downtown Flint for 10 years.

The last ten months have been rough.

“I haven’t been able to pay my rent for over nine months. And even if I, you know, catch up 25% of the time, they’ll take me over three years to pay that back, and I, we don’t,” she said.

Murphy has received grants and small business loans, but says it’s not enough.

Wednesday, Governor Whitmer announced a tentative date of February 1st for restaurants and bars to once again begin in-person dining in some capacity.

“I expect it to be 50 percent again. Hopefully she doesn’t knock us down to 25 percent,” Murphy said.

The Governor has made clear the plan to allow restaurants would be based on the number of coronavirus cases over the next two weeks.

Murphy is cautiously optimistic that come February 1st, she and other restaurants will be able to reopen, hopefully for good.

“It’s kind of a light at the end of the tunnel maybe but she was pulled that rug under our feet, you know, we start to amp up and it’s two more weeks,” Murphy said.

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