PONTIAC, Mich. – The service industry undoubtedly has been one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aug. 1, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 82,356; Death toll now at 6,206

A family in Pontiac opened Flavors of Jamaica on Telegraph Road in March and it wasn’t the grand opening they expected it.

Reniel Billups opened her first Jamaican restaurant in Hazel Park In 2007. It didn’t work out but she learned a lot, so she decided to give it another go — but she would never have guessed she would open in the midst of a pandemic.

Hours after Billups’s restaurant passed a health inspection, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut the state down.

“Some time I laugh to keep from crying,” Billups said.

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