Grand LV owner organizes gathering to voice concerns about COVID-19 mandates

NILES — The strain of COVID-19 pandemic orders and mandates is no stranger to events space and wedding venue owner Melanie Kennedy. Owner of The Grand LV, 104 N. Third St., Kennedy has had her business put on hold for months at a time.

In response to the stress, and continued uncertainty in how pandemic orders are being handled, Kennedy has organized a Peaceable Assembly from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14, at The Grand LV. State Representative Brad Paquette will attend to hear from local business owners and community members.

“We had to take off the first three months [of the pandemic], from March to June,” Kennedy said. “We had nothing happening at all. We honestly didn’t know if we were going to make it past that.”

As summer arrived and COVID-19 cases declined, things began to return to a sense of normal.
“A lot of weight was lifted and people were getting back to things,” Kennedy said.

With the most recent pandemic orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services extending shut downs to indoor dining, entertainment and gatherings, Kennedy wanted to find a way to elevate her voice and the voices of others struggling with their businesses in the Niles area.

“I know the restaurants [owners and staffs] feel a lot of the stress and burdens,” Kennedy said. “We would just like to have our voices heard on the way things are handled. The way things have been legislated, and how they’ve been done. From what I’ve heard, our representatives aren’t able to speak on our behalves, and that’s incredibly frustrating.”

There is a Facebook event for the Peaceable Assembly which includes details from The Grand LV.

“Specifically, we will be addressing the compromise of the Constitution imposed by the most recent orders, and the impact that these orders have had on local, small businesses,” the event description said.

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