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Local business owners react to potential UAW strike

A local deli owner and a restaurant owner near the west Toledo General Motors facility believe they'll see a difference in business if a strike happens.

LAMBERTVILLE, Mich. — Jan Howard, owner of Howard's Meats in Lambertville, thinks if the United Autoworkers go on strike, it will affect what families put on the table.

"If they're used to buying steaks they'll go down to hamburger, hot dogs and porkchop," Howard said. "You can eat very economically on chicken and pork."

She said about a third of her customers are union members, so she'll have to change her habits if customers order different items.  

"It'll affect the way I order," she said. "When I do my orders, I have to make sure I have enough of the other products."

Howard started the shop 38 years ago and said since she has a strong customer base, she's not concerned her business will go away.

"People do have to eat, so I'm a different kind of business," Howard said.

But, when it comes to local restaurant owners, Howard thinks they will notice more of a difference.

Rich Kenny owns Quimby's Food & Spirits in Lambertville and Forest View Lanes in Temperance.

"I think it's going to have a huge impact on the families of those that work for the auto industry, and also businesses that support those in the industry," Kenny said.

He said with less pay coming in for UAW members if they do go on strike, that'll mean less money for going out.

"They might go out one time less a week or one time less every other week," Kenny said. "It'll have some impact that way."

Kenny said making money stretch isn't new to customers, because of prices for goods increasing. Customers have found ways to save money while still having a night out.

"We've seen customers come out and buy one less appetizer, maybe share a meal, or buy one less drink while they are out. So, those behaviors are already in place now with the current state of the economy. "

Kenny and Howard said customers aren't the only ones used to having to adapt; so are businesses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We definitely learned how to solve problems and come out on the other side a little better," Kenny said.

"If I survived COVID, I can survive this," Howard said.



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