Locals brave cold, contribute to successful debut of underground market

The downtown underground market made its debut Feb. 14 in a new initiative spurred by the City of East Lansing to promote commerce and support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The market is one of six projects being undertaken by the city after meeting a $50,000 crowdfunded goal for the “Daytime. Nighttime. Anytime. Place” initiative. The project includes increased seating options around downtown with outdoor heaters in the winter months.

Restaurants plead patience as they struggle to reopen, recover from COVID-19

For restaurant owners in East Lansing, the Feb. 4 epidemic order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer poses a new challenge in recovering profits lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new gathering orders that went into effect Feb. 8, restaurants were able to open for in-person dining along with continuing services such as takeout and delivery. However, the order limits restaurants to 25% of their normal seating capacity, causing them to find ways to increase profits while dealing with fewer customers.