Tattoo shops ready for fall rush of students

It’s been three months since Ink and Needles West has opened its doors to the public after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer enacted the Stay-at-home order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. Ink and Needle west tattoo shop practicing social distancing throughout its shop to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Amber Watson, 23, a student at Michigan State University, said “I was really excited that Ink and Needles were opening up after being closed during COVID-19, three months is a long time to get a new tattoo.”

Ink and Needless tattoo shop closed on March 22 and was allowed to open their business on June 15. The state requires tattoo shops to have guidelines to reopen and to service customers including; wearing gloves, everyone being serviced have on a mask, social distancing of 6ft apart or more and cleaning the stations after every use. Moya Maffett, artist at Ink & Needles West and East in Lansing said, “It’s nice to get back in the groove of things, because we get to meet people and interact with them and see why they get the tattoos they get.”

She said, “we’ve marked everywhere six feet proximity so that clients can social distance, we have been using shields or face masks when we tattoo and speak to our clients to make sure everyone is safe.

Mason retailers ready for business, again

Teresa Wren spent her days of quarantine inside her business, Kean’s, wondering if they were going to be able to open their doors ever again. Kean’s has been a part of Mason’s downtown landscape since 1928 and was under risk of closing for good.  

For many of the family-owned businesses in Mason, the pandemic only shut their doors temporarily, not permanently, thanks to the support of the Mason community. Many businesses had to reshape the structure of their business model to accommodate customers while their doors were closed as well. Wren said that the support from the local community is the main reason why Kean’s doors remain open.

Lansing prom shop is determined to have something for the seniors

High school proms all over the state have been canceled because of COVID-19, meaning seniors are missing out on one of the last special nights they had left with all of their childhood friends. But a Lansing business is making it their priority to give them that night back — eventually. Pierre’s Bridal, Prom and Tuxedo is used to seeing its upstairs prom section full of high school girls looking for that special dress from March to June. But now the store is empty and temporarily shut down. Co-owner Sarah Samson got the idea to still hold a prom somewhere, just a little later than most high schools had originally scheduled, for seniors in the Mid-Michigan area.

Farmers markets cope with COVID-19 order

The governor’s executive orders allow farmers markets to operate during the pandemic, but many aren’t opening on schedule or at all. That has an adverse impact on farmers and other vendors who rely on them. We talk to a Zeeland farmer and a Traverse City-based organization that promotes local farmers and producers.

Williamston small businesses apply for LEAP relief

Small businesses in Williamston apply for emergency relief grants from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. More than 500 businesses vie for financial support. Photo by: Ian Gilmour. Several small businesses in Williamston applied for emergency financial relief from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership after the Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded it $600,000 to grant to 60 small businesses in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. “I think the fact this money is available just for the tri-county area is super important,” said Williamston Mayor Tammy Gilroy.

Remote working affecting businesses

“There has been a lot more deliveries due to the coronavirus.” said Jordan Gagala. Gagala is a delivery driver for Panera Bread and has felt the impact of COVID-19. She said there have been a lot of bigger orders with much more food, and loaves of bread have been selling at an increased rate. Panera has also dropped the need to sign for food being delivered to stop the spread. Gagala said the store is closed for any on- site eating but the drive-through, rapid pickup stations and delivery services are still open.

Local residents rec research before trying CBD

Brianna Garrett of Haslett said it’s important for people to research their CBD products. 

“These products have become a lot more accessible, but people need to be careful,” she said.  “You should get your products from a reputable company, not a gas station.”

She said she doesn’t think CBD has a negative connotation surrounding it and knows plenty of users. “I utilize CBD products, and I know a lot of people, ranging from children to the elderly that use it for a multitude of reasons,” she said. 

Garrett said she thinks many people are not getting the proper information or education about CBD products. 

1 ounce of hemp-derived CBD oil. Credit: Lauren Buchko

“I think it’s important for people to know that CBD can be derived from hemp, which is what most companies are doing,” she said.  “It can actually contain up to .03% THC and be classified as CBD.”

THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that triggers most psychological effects of marijuana. 

Peggy Hargrove Keep, a Haslett resident, said using cannabidiol or CBD cut down her dependence on prescription drugs. “CBD oil has impacted me personally by helping me with neuropathy pain, diabetes and anxiety,” she said.  “About a year and a half ago, I was able to stop using a prescription drug that I’ve used for 20 years, cut down on insulin and have an overall sense of well-being I didn’t have without it.”

Hargrove Keep said she initially hesitated trying CBD products because she had never used anything but prescription drugs. “I think there’s a lot of negativity surrounding it,” she said.

Retailers blame some fraud on easy resale online

To combat organized retail crime, online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist should be held more responsible in screening crooked vendors who use their platforms to peddle purloined goods, the Michigan Retailers Association says. A recent retail fraud arrest in Mecosta County also uncovered a meth operation. A Northern Michigan University criminal justice professor discusses. By Kyle Davidson.