MICHIGAN — A businessman who does not support Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “stay at home” executive order has rented a billboard and displayed the message saying “All business is essential.”
The man behind the sign is business owner Erik Kiilunen who claims at least one of his businesses had essentially closed in part because of the current stay-at-home order put in place by Gov. Whitmer. Kiilunen is the CEO of Neuvokas Corporation and made this statement for KARK, saying, “We got hit with the first rounds of the orders and I watched the book of business just absolutely vaporize. I had about $600,000 dollars in the books ready to go, great spring lined up, we are going to get moving, and then I had to lay-off 10 people immediately because the order went in, within five days, all of the business was gone.”
Losing a business had Kiilunen feeling the effects of the economy taking a tumble and was then forced to look at his other businesses and investments. He allowed workers to decide if they wish to go home, and collect the payment protection program checks – or come into work. Kiilunen reported that an overwhelming percentage of his workers stayed and they’ve been putting together the pieces of the business.
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However, that’s not where Kiilunen wanted to stop.
He wanted to send a message to the rest of his state, or at least anyone who would drive on the road seeing his rented billboard and message that reminds workers they are important.
They opened a Go Fund Me page and raised $25,000 for billboard costs since late April.
They have since placed 24 billboards stating “all business is essential” in three different areas of Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Detroit.
Up close, the billboard looks like this:
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has faced opposition from many residents in her state.
At one point a 77-year-old barber lost his license for opening during the order.
At another point Whitmer had also heavily criticized those who opposed her executive orders as well.
Dem Gov Whitmer suggests it’s their fault the stay-at-home order is in place Trending Views
Just today Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order until June 12 and is allowing some businesses to slowly open.