Small businesses bounce back as Michigan prepares to lift key COVID restrictions


FERNDALE, Mich. – In terms of the post COVID economy for small businesses, you might consider bridal salons and clothing stores among the hardest hit.

Many of these companies are rebounding after a difficult year caused by the pandemic.

Even weddings are making a quick and strong comeback, just in time.

This is what the American dream looks like. Iris from Ferndale Fashions, a woman, talent, persistence and luck.

Linda Awatim fled Iraq in the 1970s because as an Iraqi or Chaldean Christian she was persecuted for her religious beliefs. Building a bridal salon and clothing store in Ferndale allowed it to survive and thrive.

In an average prom season, she sold at least 200 bespoke and bespoke dresses.

“I used to have customers outside just to walk into the store,” Awatim said. But then COVID struck.

“COVID has killed everything, nothing we can do,” said Christina Salem, Awatim’s daughter.

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Awatim said she cried everyday just to get business.

The only reason she thinks she survived is because she owned her own apartment building and couldn’t be evicted.

But in April, schools announced they would be making plans for proms together, and brides started planning weddings again.

The case returns, perhaps not with a roar, but certainly with a growl.

The same story goes for ReaShawn Bumpers of Pink Poodle Dress Shop in Detroit.

“So the brides from last year who moved their weddings to this year, we’re making their changes in addition to the brides who had it planned for 2021 as well as the prom. The ball came so quickly. It was kind of last minute, they told them they were having a prom, so the girls started running in the doors, ”ReaShawn said.

Michigan lifts all its COVID restrictions for capacity, masks and gatherings on Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced this week.

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