A statewide shutdown comes at a critical time for residents and businesses

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (3/23/20) - It will be a new way of life for Michigan residents for the next 3 weeks.

For a lot of people, this didn't come as a surprise, especially since a dozen other states have done the same thing to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Store fronts are dark and there's a lot less traffic on the roads.

Several Flint residents commented on what they thought about being asked to stay home.

"I hope they can nip it in the bud. I'm all for it. I just feel terrible for all the businesses that are suffering and the people we need to help," said Ron Haines.

"So far you know we don't have a lot of cases in Genesee County, but it's escalating," added Darlene McClendon.

"It's a good thing. Any way you slice the pie, it's either we shut down or get rid of this. My mom stays with me and I worry about catching it and giving it to her," said Ron Brookman.

Despite the essentials staying open --

That leaves countless businesses deemed "NON" essential that have no choice, but to close their doors.

It's a hit to the livelihoods, finances, and passions of so many people as they do their part to follow orders.

"We try to be prepared for something like that. We'll wait it out and we'll survive. We'll sell through our website and gift certificates," said Mark Bauman, owner of Running & Walking Shop.

Bauman notes his web business has picked up, even as his in store sales have declined.

But, he will have no choice but to reduce his staff of 10 to just one or two during the shutdown.

There is a bit of good news, though.

Bauman plans to support other local businesses through gift certificate purchases that will be an added bonus to the ones he's selling for his shop.

"So, we have back staff that will be here as long as we can. And, if as long as we are allowed to we'll do curbside pickup."

Bauman noted that he anticipates sales to bounce back once this crisis is over and the weather warms up.

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