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Michigan Made: Metro Detroit business owner closes down shop citing pandemic-induced debt

Michigan Made: Metro Detroit business owner closes down shop after pandemic-induced debt
Michigan Made: Metro Detroit business owner closes down shop after pandemic-induced debt 03:33

SALINE, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Running a business isn't easy. 

The Chamber of Commerce reports that half of all small businesses close shop within five years of opening and 65% won't make it to their 10th anniversary. 

Through Michigan Made, CBS News Detroit is showcasing Metro Detroit businesses and celebrating their success. 

Our Executive Producer Impacting Communities, Amyre Makupson, takes us to Saline and introduces us to a business owner who says she hopes that sharing her story can be the "good" in "goodbye." 

McPherson Local is housed in a former library in Saline built in the early 1900s.

"McPherson Local is an all-Michigan-made general store we have a hundred and eighty makers with us and our goal is to highlight and Support and showcase to our community and communities all over Michigan the great things that are made here," said Jen McPherson, owner of McPherson Local. 

Since 2017, the store has been home to knick-knacks, jewelry, and little odds and ends.

"We started with only 25 makers and we're at 180 now. So we've been able to develop a good reputation. We've been able to spread our message through word of mouth and people are coming to wanna sell in our store."

Business was good until the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Things took a term for us during COVID, during the pandemic," McPherson said. "I applied for as much as I could and I was honest with all my answers. I do know that for the payroll, the PPP loan, they said my payroll was too small. It wasn't a big enough payroll to qualify for help and so that was kind of a bummer because for me being the smallest of the small, you hope that you can get a little bit of relief. 

"We are just still in that hole and it is something that we aren't confident that we're gonna be able to climb out of and at this point, we just have to not incur more debt. It was a super, super hard decision but we had to make the decision to close it." 

And just like that, it's over for McPherson and her employee-turned-close friend.

"I think I had known it was coming a little bit ... I'm not really worried about myself. I know I'll figure it out, but I really was worried because it's like this her baby and I got the privilege of being included in on it," said Ellery Hatop, McPherson Local store manager

"It's definitely sad. I definitely have cried for a month straight, but because it's a dream and now you're watching your dream kind of be sold off piece by piece," said McPherson. 

For now, final sales are being made and well-wishes are being shared. McPherson hopes that in sharing her story, she can encourage people to shop locally.

McPherson Local will shut down shop for good on March 30. 

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