A mother of six has seen fines of $1,000 per day from Michigan's health department for keeping her cafe open, violating the stay-at-home orders put in place November 15.
Owner of Cafe Rosetta Amy Heikken is now facing legal challenges because she is refusing to pay the multiple $1,000 fines.
"This is about independence," Heikken told Newsmax on Monday, saying that she started the cafe after divorcing her abusive husband.
Locals have shown their support by visiting the cafe every day. One customer even set up a fundraiser on the crowdfunding website GiveSendGo, which will help Heikken pay legal fees while she continues to fight the state.
"The goal of the Epidemic Order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is to reduce the spread of COVID-19, particularly as it relates to indoor gatherings, which will, in turn, reduce the strain on our healthcare system and save lives," said MDHHS Public Information Officer Lynn Sutfin. "Targeted and temporary closures that include restaurants have been part of successful strategies for containing COVID surges in Western Europe."
Sutfin noted that other states are following a similar approach and that the MDHHS appreciates that "these restrictions are challenging for small businesses, and that's why the Governor has called on Congress to pass targeted relief for bars and restaurants."
🔦 Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is currently working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services order to issue statewide restrictions.