What Makes A Business Essential? Michigan Jewelry Store Shows Us That All You Have To Do Is Sell A Couple Cans of Soup.

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NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) — A jewelry store south of Muskegon has started offering select groceries as a way to be deemed essential and therefore stay open in case of a future shutdown.

Owner Karl Krautheim says the shop, Krautheim & Swanson GemWorks on Harvey Street near E. Hile Road in Norton Shores, has been in his family for more than 130 years.

Can't be shut down if you're now an essential business!

This is such a power move and I love it. Big bad corona thought it could put an end to Krautheim & Swanson GemWorks? Not a fucking chance. This place has actually stuck around long enough to the point where they've endured the Spanish flu, World War I, World War II, the Great Depression, etc. etc. They've literally survived it all, big bad coronavirus never really stood a chance.

Unsure what tomorrow may bring but certain his family’s store can’t survive another shutdown, Krautheim has added a few essential items to the shop’s collection.

“Beans and soup and tomato sauce,” Krautheim described a small display of canned goods lined up opposite the jewelry cases. “We looked at things that we had as essentials at our house.”

I honestly didn't realize how easy it is to be declared an essential business. If all you have to do is just pull out random cans from your pantry and put them on your shelf, I'm surprised more places haven't done this sooner. If putting a can of beans on a shelf with a piece of paper taped to it saying "$1.75" is all you need to do to become an essential store/service, then literally everyone and anyone can be an essential business.

I get that we are in the middle of a global pandemic and everything but there's just something funny about walking into an expensive jewelry store only to see a shelf of non-perishables that came directly from the shelves of the store. Do you think they charge more or less for the cans? You'd have to think less, no? No way they're out here making profits off of stuff they bought from the grocery store. If they are making money off the 'essential' stock, then I might just have to raid my pantry and set up shop outside of my bedroom window a la Frank The Tank's pizza window.

What happens when everyone is an essential business? If there is another shutdown - I certainly fucking hope not - at any point in the future, will every single store just be open anyways because they have a few cans of chicken noodle for sale? The water just gets muddied so incredibly fast it's hard to tell what went wrong.

"Damn who's tryna go to insert bar name here, I heard they have the special on tomato sauce. While we're there. I guess we should buy a couple of drinks too"

Maybe that example is a little too far fetched but you get my point. It's just gonna turn into a semantics battle for the ages amongst the small businesses. Like I'm happy for this jewelry store and everything but I'd argue buying a bunch of expensive diamonds is far from essential. I'd actually go as far as to say that it's the complete opposite side of the spectrum.

I'm just here to watch the battles that will surely ensue from this type of stuff. Who is and isn't an essential business, debates that will surely go on for years and years after this is all over.

PS - I must've misspelled the word jewelry about 1000x whilst writing this. Just thankful that I don't have to say it aloud because I have never been able to say it correctly in my life.