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Table of Contents


  • Executive Orders
    1. 2020-160 & 2020-161: Adding state regions 6 & 8 (northern Michigan / Traverse City area + Upper Peninsula) to EO 2020-143 mandating closures of indoor service area for some alcohol retailers.
    2. 2020-97 & 2020-110: Rescinding "Stay-at-Home" Order, Re-Opening Restaurants/Bars, Outlining Requirements
    3. 2020-21: Stay Home, Stay Safe - clarification & links to FAQs
    4. 2020-09: Closing bars & restaurants after declaration of state of emergency
  • Home delivery of beer & wine
  • Unemployment Info
    • Expanded unemployment benefits (from Executive Order 2020-10)
    • Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) update: high volume
    • State guidance for employers
  • Insurance Issues
    • Recouping business losses through business insurance
    • Insurance considerations for delivery
  • Taxes & Licensing
    • Annual MLCC license renewals - extended deadline
    • Michigan Sales, Use, & Withholding tax - extended deadline
  • Draught Equipment Shut-Down Maintenance Guidelines
    • Brewers Association guidelines
    • Micro Matic guidelines
  • Other useful links


Information Related to Executive Orders:


2020-160 & 2020-161: Adding Regions 6 & 8 to Regulations Outlined in E.O. 2020-143, Mandading Closures of Indoor Service Area for Some Bars

On July 1, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Orders 2020-160 and 2020-161. EO 2020-160 goes into effect July 31 at 12:01 am and rescinded previous E.O. 2020-143 which addressed the same subjects. E.O. 2020-161 went into effect immediately. Essentially, the two new orders do not change what went into effect on July 2 which required bars with 70% or more of their sales to end indoor service, other than to add Region 6 & 8 to this requirement. This applies to those with on premises retail licenses, which includes brewpub licenses but does not include microbrewery or brewery tasting room permits.

2020-97 and 2020-110: Rescinding "Stay-at-Home" Order, Re-Opening Restaurants/Bars, and Outlining Requirements

On Monday, June 1, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-110, lifting the stay-at-home order in the state and outlining a timeline and requirements for certain types of businesses, including bars and restaurants, to re-open.

Under this Executive Order, bars and restaurants are permitted to re-open for dine-in service beginning Monday, June 8 at 12:01am, with certain restrictions previously outlined in Executive Order 2020-97, including:

  • Occupancy must be limited to no more than 50% total allowable by fire marshal
  • Servers and employees must wear protective face masks; employees handling food must wear gloves
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be provided to employees
  • Patrons required to wear protective masks, except to eat or drink while seated
  • Layout must allow for groups to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet; to facilitate this, the appropriate use of the following is encouraged:
    • Signs
    • Ground markings
    • Physical barriers
  • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions at cash registers, bars, host stands, and other areas where maintaining physical distance of six feet is difficult
  • Create communications material for customers (e.g. signs, pamphlets) to inform them of changes to restaurant or bar practices and to explain the precautions that are being taken to prevent infection
  • Close waiting areas and ask customers to wait in cars for a call when their table is ready
  • Close self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations
  • Post sign(s) at store entrance(s) informing customers not to enter if they are or have recently been sick
  • Post sign(s) instructing customers to wear face coverings until they get to their table
  • Limit shared items for customers (e.g., condiments, menus) and clean high-contact areas after each customer (e.g., tables, chairs, menus, payment tools, condiments)
  • Develop a COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan consistent with guidelines set forth by OSHA and CDC); this plan must be made available to employees and customers, whether via website, internal network, or by hard copy
  • Provide COVID-19 training to employees that includes:
    • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Workplace infection-control practices
    • Steps required by employees to notify business of COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis
    • How to report unsafe working conditions
    • Food safety health protocols (e.g., cleaning between customers, especially shared condiments)
    • How to manage symptomatic customers upon entry or in the restaurant
  • Employer must maintain a record of above-described employee training
  • Conduct daily-entry self-screening protocol for all employees & contractors that includes a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to persons with possible COVID-19 (Employer must maintain record)
  • Close restaurant immediately if an employee shows multiple symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, atypical shortness of breath, atypical cough) and perform a deep clean, consistent with guidance from the FDA and the CDC. Such cleaning may occur overnight
  • Within 24 hours of receiving notification of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis from an employee, the employer must notify local health department and any other employers, contractors, suppliers, etc. who may have come into contact with the infected person; employer must also maintain a record of this communication
  • Manufacturing facilities must:
    • Create a dedicated entry point at facility to implement daily screening protocols of employees, contractors, & suppliers
    • Incorporate temperature screening into daily screening protocol as soon as no-touch thermometers can be obtained
    • Suspend all non-essential in-person visits, such as tours
    • Incorporate into required educational training for employees 1) routes by which the virus causing COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, and 2) distance that the virus can travel in the air, as well as the time it remains viable in the air and on environmental surfaces
    • Implement rotational shifts where possible, to limit the number of employees in the facility at the same time
    • Adopt protocols to limit the sharing of tools and equipment to the maximum extent possible
    • Ensure adequate hand-washing & sanitizing stations, and discontinue the use of hand dryers 



Home Delivery of Beer & Wine

Per Section 203 (12) in the Michigan Liquor Control Code:

A retailer that holds a Specially Designated Merchant (SDM) license, a brewpub, a micro brewer, or an out-of-state entity that is the substantial equivalent of a brewpub or micro brewer may deliver beer and wine to the home or other designated location of a consumer in this state if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The beer or wine, or both, is delivered by the retailer's, brewpub's, or micro brewer's employee.
  2. The retailer, brewpub, or micro brewer or its employee who delivers the beer or wine, or both, verifies that the individual accepting delivery is at least 21 years of age.
  3. If the retailer, brewpub, or micro brewer or its employee intends to provide service to consumers, the retailer, brewpub, or micro brewer or its employee providing the service has received alcohol server training through a server training program approved by the commission.

If you are interested in offering home delivery of beer, please also review the MLCC Frequently Asked Questions (page 2).


Expanded Unemployment Benefits:

In an effort to help provide emergency support for Michigan's working families, Governor Whitmer today also announced Executive Order 2020-10 to temporarily expand unemployment benefits eligibility.

This executive order will remain in effect through end of day April 14th, and extends benefits to employees who experience:

  • Forced unpaid absence from work due to illness, quarantine, or immunocompromised health
  • Unexpected childcare responsibilities
  • Necessary care of loved ones who become ill

In addition, this order increases access to benefits by:

  • Increasing benefits from 20 to 26 weeks
  • Increasing application eligibility period from 14 to 28 days
  • Suspending the normal requirements for in-person registration and work search

Under this order, an employer shall not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations.

Eligible employees should read the Unemployment Insurance Agency's Fact Sheet as well as additional information from Michigan.gov, and they can apply online or by calling 1-866-500-0017.

Employers are also encouraged to implement the state's Work Share Program, which allows for employers to maintain operational productivity rather than laying off workers during declines in regular business activity. With the plan, rather than being laid off, eligible employees work a reduced number of hours in the work week and receive a portion of weekly unemployment benefits.

Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) Update: High Volume

Workers are encouraged to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA or over the phone at 866-500-0017, but due to tremendous call volume, certain callers may receive a busy signal.

The UIA has issued this Update Information to assist workers in getting through to the UIA during this busy time. The update advises workers to contact the agency during off-peak hours, and provides some additional detail about what that entails.

State Provides Guidance to Employers Contemplating Potential Layoffs

In addition to encouraging businesses to utilize the Work Share program (see above), the State offers businesses some guidance on choosing Temporary Leave vs. Termination.

Due to the uncertainty regarding potential congressional action regarding whether and how furloughed workers will be able to access federal paid sick, family and medical leave resources, employers are strongly urged to place employees on temporary leave and advise the worker that they expect to have work available within 120-days as opposed to termination. There is no additional cost to employers, employees remain eligible for UI benefits through the state, and employees may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.

Steps for employers placing employees on temporary unpaid leave:

  • Do not terminate the employee – specify a temporary/indefinite leave with return to work expected that is within 120 days.
  • Do not create a contractual obligation to bring the employee back to work – Let the employee know that the situation is fluid and subject to change.
  • Provide the employee with a formal Unemployment Compensation Notice. Employers will need to provide their Employer Account Number and Federal Identification Number.
  • Communicate to the employee about their rights. Under Governor Whitmer’s recent Executive Order, workers are placed on leave, or are unable to work because they are sick, quarantined, immunocompromised, or have an unanticipated family care responsibility, are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Ensure employees are provided information on how to obtain unemployment insurance benefits. A factsheet can be found here.
  • Get each employee’s up-to-date contact information.
  • Let employees know if you will be putting updated information on the entity’s website or intranet, if applicable.
  • Appoint a single, or limited number of individuals who will field questions, and communicate that information to employees.
  • Keep a tally of all questions and answers. Periodically share with employees.

The state is monitoring issues related to continued medical insurance coverage and will update accordingly.


Insurance Issues:

Recouping Business Losses Through Business Insurance:

Miller Canfield, another Allied Trade member of MBG, has provided this information about recouping financial losses through business insurance.

For more information, contact Joe Infante - infante@millercanfield.com | (231) 740-8199

Insurance Considerations for Delivery

Fischer Insurance, one of MBG's Allied Trade members, has provided the following information which will be helpful to breweries considering operating delivery services during the taproom shut-down:

"Great care must be taken to ensure that drivers are well qualified and proper controls are in place. Attached are a few relevant documents to assist you. Most importantly:

  • Prospective drivers must be evaluated carefully:
  • Youthful / inexperienced operators should not be permitted to perform delivery services if this can be avoided. Drivers under age 18 should be prohibited.
  • All drivers must have a valid driver’s license. A current MVR should be reviewed to verify a favorable driving record. The document Evaluating Motor Vehicle Records offers guidance here. Employees can secure their driving record from the Secretary of State.
  • Since primary auto liability coverage would be provided by the employee’s PAP, proof of coverage should be verified with minimum split limits of $100/300/50 or $300,000 Combined Single Limit. Have your employee provide you with a copy of their current policy.
  • All delivery drivers should be required to sign an agreement that outlines expectations while operating their vehicles in the course of business. The technical bulletin Tips for Employers technical bulletin provides direction in this area.

Employee-owned delivery vehicles are non-owned autos from the insured restaurant’s perspective. A policy with non-owned auto coverage (example here) will respond to protect the named insured on an excess basis over the employee’s PAP, but it is not covering the employees themselves."

For more information, contact Mark Irwin - mark@fischerins.com | 800-453-6170


Annual License Renewals - Extended Deadline:

In response to the state of emergency called on 3/10 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the MLCC issued Administrative Order No. 2020-05, extending the annual license expiration date for 2021 from April 30 to July 31.

The Commission strongly encourages businesses to renew online to ensure timely processing of your renewal application and avoid any potential delays with mailing your renewed license.


Michigan Department of Treasury Waives Penalty & Interest of Sales, Use, & Withholding Tax for 30 Days:

On March 17, the Michigan Department of Treasury announced that it will waive penalty and interest fees for any sales, use, and withholding taxes paid within 30 days after the monthly due date of March 20.

Any return or payment currently due on March 20, 2020 may be submitted to the Department without penalty or interest through April 20, 2020.


Draught Equipment Shut-Down Maintenance Guidelines

BA Draught Quality Recommendations During Extended Bar/Taproom Shutdown

From the Brewers Association:

In the event you are unable to serve draught beer for an extended period, it is important to take some steps to make sure your system stays healthy and you are not faced with an unexpected expense or quality concerns when starting it back up. If beer is left stagnant in draught lines for too long, the system will be at risk of an irreversible bacterial contamination. Taking the right steps can prevent you from having to deal with dangerous gas leak hazards, costly draught line contamination, or even more expensive draught line replacement.

Micro Matic Recommendations for Draught System Hibernation Maintenance

Micro Matic has shared these Draught System Recommendations for maintaining proper system health during an extended shut-down.


Other Useful Links:

In the event you are unable to serve draught beer for an extended period, it is important to take some steps to make sure your system stays healthy and you are not faced with an unexpected expense or quality concerns when starting it back up. If beer is left stagnant in draught lines for too long, the system will be at risk of an irreversible bacterial contamination. Taking the right steps can prevent you from having to deal with dangerous gas leak hazards, costly draught line contamination, or even more expensive draught line replacement.

National Restaurant Association - COVID-19 Resources

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