It’s hard to believe that after sending more than two dozen company-wide COVID-19 communications since mid-March, that more than two weeks have passed since my last. Things have stabilized across the state as businesses re-open and people return to work. Still, I want to provide an overview of where we’re at in regards to the pandemic’s impact on Forward and what is ahead.

  • Subway Units #459 (Saginaw), #494 (Auburn Hills), and #472 (Burton Wal-Mart) opened yesterday, meaning all but two of our Subway locations are back online. The two units that remain closed are located in the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets Mall and on the campus of the University of Michigan Flint. We continue to evaluate those locations and will share an update on their status when we have one.
  • The Super 8 in West Branch opened last Friday, meaning all three hotels are back online, as well. There is no question that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the travel industry across the country and it is difficult to say how occupancy will be impacted throughout the summer. Still, early signs are encouraging and we hope those trends continue.
  • The LumberJack restaurant in West Branch re-opened last Wednesday with strict guidelines from the state in place for all dine-in restaurants. While there have been operational challenges adjusting to these guidelines, the staff is doing a tremendous job. Over the first week of opening, our sales have been solid, which is encouraging when you consider our occupancy has been cut in half by the restrictions.
  • Though restrictions are loosening, our updated COVID-19 safety policies and procedures remain in place. All employees must complete the symptom checker each day and should contact their manager BEFORE coming to work if they are feeling ill. And remember, proper hand-washing has always been critical to our businesses, but is even more important now.

I expect this letter to be my last COVID-19 update for some time. Barring a significant change in the state’s response or a major spike in cases, I suspect things will remain stable for some time. I’m hesitant to say things have “returned to normal,” though, as I think we all recognize there is still much uncertainty ahead.

That being said, I remain optimistic that Forward can weather any storm we face because of our amazing employees. I cannot tell you how proud I am of how you all rallied together during difficult times to take care of our customers in the midst of unprecedented challenges. You are all frontline heroes in my mind, and I cannot express enough how fortunate I am to have you in the Forward Family.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

Abby Moniz
President, Forward Corp.