10 Michigan industries which can be thriving amid the coronavirus

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The general monetary squeeze of the coronavirus pandemic is more likely to have a long-lasting influence on Michigan’s financial system, however that doesn’t imply some enterprise segments aren’t already again and thriving.

There’s pent up demand in sectors like building. And spending shifts, influenced by social distancing or pandemic considerations, have unexpectedly elevated demand in varied merchandise and actions.

These are 10 industries which can be seeing an uptick in gross sales, even because the financial system struggles to bounce again:

A KKind worker weighs out marijuana flower on the new leisure marijuana provisioning heart in Kalamazoo Township, Michigan on Friday, March 13, 2020. That is the primary leisure marijuana store to open in Kalamazoo County.Joel Bissell


Leisure marijuana arrived in Michigan on Dec. 1 and has continued its ascent, even amid a coronavirus shutdown that led retailers to seek out distinctive new methods to serve prospects, together with via curbside pickup and expanded supply.

Leisure gross sales have elevated a median of 32% every month monitoring again to March. And in July, for the primary time ever, leisure gross sales surpassed medical marijuana in complete gross sales with $57.Four million versus $52.1 million for medical. The medical and leisure markets mixed for a complete of almost $110 million in July gross sales. The variety of licensed leisure marijuana shops ballooned from 82 in March to 148 in July.

There are prospects for much more exponential development starting in November if the state removes an present prerequisite that any leisure marijuana license holder additionally possess a medical marijuana license. with the prospects of much more exponential future development

The {industry} is projected to account for almost $1.5 billion gross sales over the subsequent yr, based on Marijuana Regulatory Company Director Andrew Brisbo.

Liquor Sales during Covid-19  – July 16, 2020

Bottles of vodka sit on cabinets at The Wine Backyard in St. Clair Shores, on Thursday, July 16, 2020. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.com


Shops that remained open promoting beer, wine or liquor all through the continuing pandemic not solely survived however thrived, based on accounts retailer homeowners have shared with MLive and statewide information.

Tony Batou, who owns and operates the Wine Backyard at 22425 Harper Ave. in St. Clair Shores, and Jeff Oppermann, the 25-year-owner of Oppermann’s Cork’n’Ale in Saginaw Township, each say gross sales have jumped almost 40% in comparison with the prior yr in latest months.

Whereas many Michigan residents had been laid off or working from residence, some incomes extra whereas unemployed than when working due the $600-per-week federal unemployment stimulus checks that ran out in July, alcoholic beverage consumption surged. Along with additional stimulus cash, there have been fewer choices, since bars and eating places have beenPeople dabbled with new cocktails concoctions and spent extra on upscale liquor, particularly anejo tequila.

“Spirit gross sales, wine gross sales, beer gross sales they’ve all completely reached new heights, so far as on a regular basis buying goes after which form of maintained that stage,” Dominic Aprea, the proprietor of Tippins Market in Ann Arbor, instructed MLive. “I believe a number of that’s simply that on a regular basis consumption has gone up. There’s not a number of touring happening, persons are working remotely from residence and educating from residence.

Meijer Gardens reopens after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic

Building continues at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids on Monday, June 8, 2020. The venue reopened Monday after closing its doorways to the general public on March 13 to assist gradual the unfold of COVID-19. (Cory Morse | MLive.com) Cory Morse | MLive.com


Building jobs and enterprise have bounced again sooner than these in another Michigan {industry}. In keeping with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the development {industry} had almost 43% fewer jobs in April of this yr than it did 2019. Practically 100,000 jobs had been misplaced, predominantly as a result of coronavirus shutdown.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer approved the reopening of the development sector on Could 7.

Kalamazoo-based Michael Horrigan, president of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Financial Analysis, stated industries reminiscent of building had been in a position to rebound extra shortly as a result of they’ve work environments that make social distancing and implementing security precautions extra conducive. He additionally stated there was a bottleneck that created a necessity for fast growth to be able to sustain with demand when job websites reopened.

“Everyone was shut down for months,” stated Brian Keeler, the vp of pre-construction with Saginaw-based Spence Brothers. “What we noticed popping out of that was everyone was behind and loaded as much as the purpose the place they couldn’t deal with the whole lot, so there was an amazing quantity of velocity popping out of that.”

Keeler stated some small contractors additionally took on extra jobs to make the most of federal Paycheck Safety Program loans designated to be spent on payroll inside a sure time-frame.

For the reason that preliminary rush, some bigger industrial tasks have been postponed as a consequence of financial uncertainty, Keller stated. Whereas he expects accessible work to “stage again out,” he doesn’t anticipate the {industry} to expertise layoffs any time quickly.

“There’s nonetheless sufficient work to go round,” Keeler stated.

Liverpool Pool and Spa

Jeff Phillips, a foreman with Liverpool Pool and Spa, lays down a foam pad previous to the set up of a liner in a pool underneath building in Marcellus on Thursday, June 4, 2020. (Rick Moriarty | [email protected])Rick Moriarty | [email protected]

Pool set up

With prolonged free time spent at residence, Michigan residents are investing more cash in at-home recreation, particularly swimming pools with a beginning value close to $50,000, installers inform MLive.

Paul Douglas, vp of Flint-based Blue Hawaiian Swimming pools of Michigan, stated prospects are attempting to create their very own “yard paradises” since “stay-cations” are on the rise.

“They’re not solely spending on swimming pools, however elegant swimming pools, landscaping, fencing, concrete work,” he stated. “Fortunately we’re a kind of companies that’s thriving throughout this time.”

Douglas stated some set up firms are already absolutely booked with jobs slated for 2021.

Greg Lamson, a co-owner of Birch-Run-based Palazzo Swimming pools stated he receives dozens of calls from potential prospects every week and his firm was booked early via the 2020 set up season.

“Folks aren’t touring for holidays and likewise lots of people are placing their stimulus cash towards these swimming pools,” he stated. “It’s been so busy that the {industry} itself has had shortages in ever facet of constructing swimming pools, from fiberglass shells to vinyl liners, to pumps, heaters, it’s simply actually been one thing.”

Actual property

Whereas Michigan actual property gross sales are down about 21% on the yr, brokers say purchases boomed after {industry} reopened Could 7 and so they anticipate July gross sales to fulfill or surpass month-to-month totals for final yr. The Michigan Realtors affiliation has but to launch July gross sales information.

Gross sales costs are additionally on the rise, up 6% for the yr and almost 7% in June, indicating demand is powerful in what brokers are calling a sellers’ market.

Darin McLeskey of Saline, who owns Denovo Actual Property in Detroit, stated he anticipated a lull when the actual property market reopened, however “it’s truly been slightly little bit of the other.”

He in contrast the latest financial shutdown to an “induced coma.”

“Your physique must relaxation, and the coronavirus sort of pressured that,” McLeskey stated. “It sort of pressured what would occur in a recession to occur … after which the feds simply slammed a lot cash at the whole lot and began shopping for a lot debt.

“It’s like, let’s put this affected person in a coma after which wake them up and put them on — I don’t know — cocaine.”

Michigan state parks gear rental program

Tents are simply one of many classes of out of doors gear accessible to lease via a brand new Michigan state parks program. | Picture by way of Michigan DNR

Outside gear

With the coronavirus nonetheless posing a menace, the Michigan open air is without doubt one of the finest locations to keep up social distancing whereas having fun with the state’s magnificence.

Retailers of tenting, fishing and outside sports activities tools, reminiscent of kayaks, are reporting elevated gross sales in latest months. In accordance the DNR, extra new anglers and hunters are making use of for licenses which have in recent times and campgrounds stay busy throughout the state.

The variety of new searching license prospects within the state via July will increase 120% in comparison with the identical time-frame in 2019. The variety of new fishing license prospects this yr has elevated almost 40%, based on the newest DNR information.

After the shutdown, “we noticed that rapid transfer to folks participating within the outside actions as a result of they might have social distancing and leisure,” stated Jay’s Sporting Items President Jeff Poet, who’s firm operates in Clare and Gaylord. “We had been bought out of kayaks fairly early, that was one of many first sports activities that appeared to be very noticeable.”

He estimates 2020 gross sales are between 20% and 30% increased than they had been in 2019.

It’s not simply additional stimulus cash that’s helped prop up sporting items gross sales. stated Tom Knutson, co-owner of Knutson’s Sporting Items in Brooklyn.

“Our enterprise succeeds when folks have time,” he stated. “They both have time and no cash, or cash and no time. That’s sort of the way it works …

“It was the primary time in our {industry} the place there was money and time.”

51st annual America's Largest RV Show in Hershey

A 2020 Tiffin Motorhomes Allegro bus,
September 11, 2019.
Dan Gleiter | [email protected]

RVs and motorhomes

Household highway journeys throughout the Michigan or the nation to campgrounds, state or nationwide parks are taking the place of now-cancelled journeys to Disneyland or or resort locations, RV and motorhome sellers say.

Some are actually utilizing reallocated trip funds or additional stimulus cash to make down funds on new motorhomes and journey trailers, stated Invoice Sheffer, director of the Michigan Affiliation of Recreation Automobiles and Campgrounds.

“The flexibility to to journey with your loved ones in a managed atmosphere” is enticing in occasions like these, Sheffer stated, “There’s no higher social distancing than a campground the place the websites are unfold aside.”

He stated June gross sales of motorhomes elevated 28% in comparison with 2019. Journey trailers gross sales had been up 50%.

“They’ll’t make them quick sufficient,” stated Tom Nemacheck, Government director of the Higher Peninsula Journey and Recreation Affiliation . “Persons are shopping for $100,000 RVs that by no means owned one.”


A Dwelling Depot worker wears a protecting masks whereas on the job, Saturday, April 11, 2020, in Somerville, Mass. The brand new coronavirus causes delicate or reasonable signs for most individuals, however for some, particularly older adults and folks with present well being issues, it may possibly trigger extra extreme sickness or demise. (AP Picture/Michael Dwyer) APAP

Dwelling enchancment

Time at residence and extra cash are two of the largest components Dave Wohlfeil, proprietor of Wohlfeil Ace {Hardware} in Saginaw Township, attributes to the almost 25% improve in gross sales his retailer has skilled all through the pandemic.

Dwelling enchancment and {hardware} shops had been deemed “important” companies underneath Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home orders and allowed to stay open.

Every part from instruments, to rototillers and wheelbarrows have been in excessive demand, and “our gross sales our off the charts,” Wohlfeil stated. “Lots of people had been staying residence in order that they had been shopping for merchandise. They had been out doing yard work, residence enchancment and it created a number of additional enterprise.”

Wohlfeil stated it’s created an industry-wide provide scarcity for a lot of instruments, patio furnishings and yard-care merchandise, though demand appears to be truly fizzling out to regular ranges.

The house enchancment items spike holds true for the publicly traded retailers, additionally.

Dwelling Depot and Lowe’s each reported large gross sales will increase all through the coroanvirus pandemic. Dwelling Depot gross sales at $38.1 billion throughout the second quarter had been up 23.4% in comparison with the identical 2019 interval. Lowe’s reported $27.three billion in gross sales between April and July, in comparison with $21.zero billion throughout the identical time-frame in 2019, and improve of 34.2%.

Apple Mountain Golf Course

Ed DeGroat of Saginaw Township chips onto the observe inexperienced at Apple Mountain Golf Course in Thomas Township.The Saginaw Information


Many Michigan golf programs are sometimes at capability on Father’s Day. “And that’s the best way it’s been for us all summer time lengthy,” Sycamore Hills Golf Membership President Tom Schwark says. “We’re nearly booked strong daily.”

After a “irritating” spring that noticed Michigan programs closed amid favorable {golfing} climate from March 24 via April 24 as a consequence of Whitmer’s stay-home-stay-safe order, Schwark stated golf programs reopened with out golf carts, a restriction that lifted Could 8, and have been bustling ever since.

Sycamore Hills Golf Membership in Macomb County has skilled a virtually 25% improve in inexperienced charges via June and July with August maintaining the identical tempo. Schwark stated the course broke 500 gamers in in the future for this primary time ever this summer time, a feat that’s since been repeated almost 15 occasions.

“We’re seeing a number of younger folks, 20- and 30-year-olds, households, children,” he stated. “Golf is perceived as a being protected for social distancing and persons are beginning to uncover the pleasures of golf.”

Jada Paisley, director of the Michigan Golf Course Affiliation, stated programs across the state are experiencing comparable greens price surges. And it’s factor, she stated. Since many misplaced important chunks of their revenue as a consequence of misplaced wedding ceremony, banquet, bar and restaurant revenues, the rise golf tee income helps them to “survive.”

Michigan has essentially the most public golf programs within the nation and the game has a “$4.2 billion influence on Michigan’s financial system yearly,” based on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s workplace.

“Being on a golf course is, you understand, it’s lovely, it’s fascinating, it’s stress-free,” Schwark stated. “Typically the sport may be irritating. In case you’re not having the most effective day, simply benefit from the surroundings.”


When the NBA first postponed its season as a consequence of COVID-19, ESPN aired dwell video of gamers competing towards each other within the NBA2K online game. Practically 900,000 viewers watch NASCAR drivers race towards each other in actual time over the ultra-realistic iRacing Sequence.

Amid a quarantine, the know-how of as we speak’s video video games, with their realism, creativity and the power they provide for socialization and competitors in actual time, have made them extra in style than ever.

Leisure Software program Affiliation President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis referred to as online game {industry} “one of many few shiny spots in out financial system” via the coronavirus pandemic.

He cited a 9% improve in gross sales via the primary three months of 2020.

“These numbers have soared in latest months with spending up 73% in April and up 52% in Could in comparison with those self same month final yr,” Pierre-Louis stated on July 14 on the Video games for Change digital convention.

Scott Brodie, who owns Coronary heart-Formed Video games, an impartial developer based mostly in Ann Arbor, stated the complete {industry} has skilled a “important improve in gross sales ever for the reason that stay-at-home guidelines went into impact.”

“Folks have extra time, in concept, to play, so it looks like persons are spending extra on leisure at residence,” Brodie stated.

His firm is getting ready to launch its “We’re the Caretakers” sport this fall, which revolves round combating poachers to guard endangered animals in a sci-fi world.

“We’re very enthusiastic about the truth that we are able to hold everybody employed,” Brodie stated, “and after we do put out subsequent sport out we’ll most likely have a a lot bigger viewers.”


Along with washing fingers often and never touching your face, officers advocate practising social distancing, assuming anybody could also be carrying the virus.

Well being officers say you need to be staying at the very least 6 toes away from others and dealing from residence, if potential.

Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your house (door handles, taps, counter tops) and carry hand sanitizer with you whenever you go into locations like shops.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has additionally issued government orders requiring folks to put on face coverings over their mouth and nosewhile in public indoor and crowded outside areas. See an evidence of what meaning right here.

Further data is on the market at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

For extra information on COVID-19 in Michigan, go to https://www.mlive.com/coronavirus/information/.

Learn extra on MLive:

Liquor gross sales a shiny spot amid coronavirus

There’s no place like residence throughout a pandemic

Michiganders spending extra within the nice open air

Michigan’s high state parks

Pool gross sales surge

Bowling alleys need to have the ability to reopen – and so that you can cease calling them ‘bowling alleys

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