March 18, 2020
Things have stabilized over the last two days in terms of major changes/restrictions resulting from Coronavirus. Still, our leadership team continues to monitor news all over the country to prepare for a variety of changes that could be coming to Michigan. In the meantime, here are the latest updates from across the company.
• As discussed yesterday, most of our Subway locations are now operating 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Our hospital locations remain on regular hours, and the Great Lakes Crossing location has been closed temporarily due to lack of foot traffic. Our University of Michigan-Flint location is also closed because the university is closed. Beyond that, Subway is operating close to normal. If you look around the country, even cities and states that have implemented full “shelter in place” restrictions have allowed restaurants to stay open for drive-thru, take-out, and delivery. We are hopeful this will be the case should Michigan enact these measures, as our restaurants play an important role during these times.
• We have made the difficult decision to lay off a number of employees on the T.R. McTaggart side. The travel and tourism industry has been rocked by the pandemic and we’re already seeing an impact on business. A small team remains in place to finish orders in process and to complete those that may come in, but everyone from our customers to our vendors has been touched by this.
• Today, HR began reaching out individually to every Forward employee who has been impacted by layoff to assist them in applying for unemployment benefits. We recognize in these uncertain times that the process can be intimidating and confusing, so I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make that process easier. With millions across the country impacted, we remain confident the government will continue to do its part in taking care of people who are struggling as a result of the pandemic. Talk of a stimulus continues, tax payments have been deferred, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development has suspended foreclosures and evictions through the end of April.
• Beyond that, we continue to emphasize recommended CDC measures to keep our employees and customers safe. Proper hand washing technique, social distancing, and enhanced sanitation procedures have been implemented in every corner of our company and will continue to be refined as needed.
Forward has been in existence for almost a century and has seen some of America’s best times, as well as some of its worst. But this country and this company are resilient, and I have no doubt we will get through these trying times together.
President, Forward Corp