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Business owners concerned after new wave of COVID-19 restrictions

Under this new order, places closed under previous orders like hair salons and gyms may remain open. However, movie theaters and bowling alleys are forced to close.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Starting Wednesday, for at least the next three weeks, new restrictions will begin in Michigan to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"This is one of the darkest days we've had this year," says Lieutenant Governor Garland Gilchrist. "And that's why we're taking this three week pause."

For many businesses, its back to another period of uncertainty. Under this new order, places closed under previous orders like hair salons and gyms may remain open. However, movie theaters and bowling alleys are forced to close again.

"All of my bowling proprietor friends too are obviously very concerned about this," says Doug Boomsma, owner of Hudsonville Lanes. "This is our busy season."

Bowling alleys and movie theaters were barely allowed a month to be open after extended closures. Matt McSparin, the executive vice president of Goodrich Quality Theaters, says since reopening the company has only done five to seven percent of its normal business.

"We've seen over this whole spring and summer and even into the fall, outbreaks happen when people gather, even if it's in small settings," says Lt. Governor Gilchrist.

McSparin feels this point is unfairly associated with theaters. He says there are no statistics tying outbreaks to any movie theater chains.

Kyle VanStrien, owner of Long Road Distillery, says its time to get creative because this is a situation no bar or restaurant owner wanted.

"But it's where we find ourselves," he says. "And I think we have to think really hard about doing the best and making the most of the position we find ourselves in now."

Government buildings will also be impacted. In Grand Rapids, only the Customer Service Center in City Hall will remain open for walk ins. All other offices will take appointments only.

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