Many businesses, offices dark on Friday

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

A Christmas that falls on Thursday means some employers will close their doors Wednesday afternoon and not open them until next week.

That’s good news if you want to relax at home with your new flatscreen TV or iPad, but bad news if you want to pay a parking ticket, get an insurance quote or return an overdue library book.

Detroit’s 36 District Court closes Christmas Eve and doesn’t reopen until 2015. Some state-level and city-level departments are closed, too. And some non-retail businesses — from insurance companies to church offices — also are staying closed the Friday after Christmas, making for a four or five-day weekend and likely boosting employee morale.

“Employers reason opening that day would be more trouble than it’s worth ... that their staffs would be unproductive or simply use personal time to take off. It’s almost like they don’t have a choice,” said Ed Nakfoor, a Birmingham-based business analyst. “Besides, no boss wants to be considered a Scrooge.”

It helps, Nakfoor said, that most businesses can function remotely, so employees can sit at home with their laptops and phones at the ready.

“It amounts to managing expectations of the staff with the needs of the business,” he said.

All of Detroit’s automakers are closed this week, and downtown firm Strategic Staffing Solutions is closed from Wednesday until Monday, although some departments will be in on Friday.

Need a drink after dealing with all the relatives? Corktown’s Two James Distillery and Detroit City Distillery in Eastern Market are both closed on Christmas and the day after.

Some State Farm offices are closed, while others remain open Dec. 26; it’s up to the individual branches. Case in point: Gary Druchinak’s State Farm office in Westland is closed from Wednesday until Monday, while Ted Brown’s office in Southfield will be open on Friday.

The Detroit Public Libraries have a similar schedule. Most, including the main location downtown, are open on Dec. 26, but a few locations are closed from Dec. 22 to Jan. 4, according to the library’s website.

Some city of Detroit offices — like the Water and Sewerage Department — will be open on Friday. Other non-essential departments are closed.

But there’s plenty of other businesses that are open on Friday.

Want to send back that ugly Christmas sweater from Grandma? You’re in luck. Detroit post offices have normal business hours on Dec. 26. Hair salons — like BoRics in Ferndale and Lady Jane’s in Southfield — are open Friday, too.

Secretary of State offices are open the day after Christmas, just in case you need to register that new car Santa put in your driveway.

Mortgage lender Quicken Loans is closed on Christmas Day, but team members will be in the office to help with home loans on Christmas Eve and Dec. 26.

DTE Energy’s employees will be off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but the Detroit utility will have skeleton crews and operations running at critical sites like powerplants and service centers, and will be back in the office on Friday, spokesman Scott Simons said. “People need energy 24/7,” he said.

Upset the business you need is closed? You shouldn’t be, Nakfoor said.

“It’s a hiccup ... an irritant, perhaps, but nothing to get worked up about or take to social media with a rant about bad service,” he said. “I have seen signs at many businesses — up for weeks now — explaining the truncated hours, for this and next week. Plan accordingly.”

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