Partner Ann Marie Uetz was quoted in the Crain’s Detroit Business article, “Lowe's is open, but the flooring store is not. Call it the toilet paper loophole,” about the confusion over what businesses qualify as essential and can stay open under Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order issued to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Uetz told Crain’s that while the decision of who is essential defined by a broad set of federal guidelines, suppliers were making their own decisions. "All day yesterday suppliers across the state were trying to come to terms with the order and decide what to do and that continues this morning," Uetz said. "Some suppliers are taking the position that they are exempt, based on the link to the federal guidelines being included in the Governor's order, since the guidelines describe automotive manufacturers supporting essential businesses as exempt."
Some suppliers are staying open after a customer notified them that they are an essential business in their supply chain, Uetz said.
"Some are only continuing the part of their operations that are directly tied to supporting an essential business," Uetz said. "Some are keeping essential workers in place to maintain tooling and equipment. And others are shutting down and laying off work their workers and wondering when the carmakers will come back online."