LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer acknowledged National Small Business Week late on Friday as retailers, restaurants, and shops in Michigan continue to reel from 15 months of her lockdown orders.

In a press release, Gov. Whitmer called small businesses the “backbone of our communities.” National Small Business Week ran May 2-8, with Whitmer’s acknowledgement coming on May 7th.

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Whitmer’s lockdown policies have done untold damage over the last year. Nearly 36 percent of small businesses have closed in the state during Whitmer’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Employment rates for low wage jobs have fallen 28.9 percent.

Restaurants and bars in Michigan are still under a 50 percent indoor dining capacity limit. Those who have defied Whitmer’s orders, like Holland pizzeria owner Marlena Pavlos-Hackney and Amy Heikkinen, who owns Cafe Rosetta in Calumet, have faced fines, legal battles, and jail time.