To all Forward employees,
Earlier today, the governor announced a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order for the State of Michigan that directs all Michigan businesses to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not deemed essential. This order goes into effect shortly after midnight tonight and will be in place through at least April 13, 2020.
Michigan joins Illinois, Ohio, and many other states that recently enacted such orders.
As a result of this order, we are announcing the following updates regarding Forward’s business operations:
- Per the governor’s order, convenience stores and home heating services like Forward Energy are essential and may continue operating. Restaurants are also allowed to remain open for take-out, drive-thru, and delivery, as has been the case since March 16 when dine-in service was suspended. As such, Subway locations that are currently open will remain open at the reduced hours implemented last week of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We will continue to monitor sales daily for both c-stores and Subways and may make adjustments as we go forward.
- Hotels are also classified essential per the governor’s order. However, the restrictions put in place over the last week have reduced occupancy to a level that makes it difficult to remain open. As a result, all three hotels – the Quality Inn West Branch, the Super 8 West Branch, and the Super 8 Houghton Lake will close. We are uncertain when either property will re-open, but we will make an announcement when that has been determined.
- Unfortunately, this new “Stay at Home” order means more employees will be laid off. Employees at our hotels were informed they will be placed on layoff, and the small team that remained at T.R. McTaggart was notified that today will be their last day for the foreseeable future. With only essential services allowed, a number of maintenance, office, and support employees were also laid off today. These employees will receive instruction from HR on how to file for unemployment benefits so they can begin getting assistance as soon as possible.
- In regards to assistance, I continue to remain hopeful our government will act swiftly to help American workers all over the country. As of this note, reports out of Washington suggest a stimulus deal is close to being hammered out and should be finalized soon.
- As I mentioned last week, we are working all avenues to help support the business and taking the necessary steps to ensure we have adequate lines of credit. I had a call this morning with our bank and they assured us they are ready to support Forward should we need it.
These are unprecedented times for Forward, the State of Michigan, and for the entire country. Hundreds of millions of people have been impacted and will continue to be in the coming days and weeks ahead. I wish I could look into the future and understand when this will end, but the reality is we all just have to take it day-by-day. Please keep all of our friends and co-workers who have been laid off in your thoughts, and take care of yourselves and your families.
President, Forward Corp.