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“More folks had money to go to restaurants and buy a hot dog.”

I started Yesterdog back in 1976, and over the past 36 years, this restaurant has been through wars, recessions, booms, crashes, and seven different Presidents. And in all that time, our business has grown every single year – except one.

Only once in our 36 year history did our business actually shrink, and that was in 2009 – the same year that the auto industry and Michigan’s economy were in the worst trouble. That year, for the first time ever, our sales actually decreased.I know many businesses faced much harder times – but even here in Grand Rapids, where people feel further away from the auto factories in and around Detroit – we still felt the hit to Michigan’s economy.

But then, once the President’s policies started to take effect, our business started growing again. Instead of closing down, auto suppliers here in Grand Rapids stayed open. More people had jobs, and that meant more folks had money to go to restaurants and buy a hot dog.

And it’s not just my restaurant. There are more restaurants opening up all over our area, and as a diner myself, I’ve seen longer lines when I go out to eat.

If President Obama had not acted – or if he had listened to those who opposed the rescue of the auto industry – I don’t even want to imagine what Michigan’s economy would have looked like if the entire industry had been allowed to collapse. We may not have started growing again as quickly, or our sales may have gone down even further.

What I do know is this: The President took action to jump-start Michigan’s economy, and as the auto industry has come back, we’ve seen the rest of Michigan’s economy recovering and growing too.

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