MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – along with over 50 other business associations and local chambers of commerce – sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers last week calling for the economy to begin to reopen on April 24 when the Safer at Home order expires. Since that letter was sent, nearly 2,000 concerned citizens and businesses have signed onto the letter.
Ranging from restaurants, taverns and retail businesses to dairy farms, manufacturers and construction firms, the list of employers looking for a plan to reopen is growing quickly.
“This is not just one business, one worker or one family we are talking about,” said Kurt Bauer, WMC President & CEO. “There is a groundswell of support from every corner of the state and every industry to begin the process of restarting our economy.”
In WMC’s letter, the organization called on Gov. Evers to work with the business community on a plan to strategically and safely reopen businesses. In part, the letter reads:
“Wisconsin businesses fully recognize that as businesses begin to reopen, there will be a need to maintain some level of social distancing requirements, and perhaps other steps to mitigate person-to-person spread that might involve the use of masks, gloves or other personal protective equipment.
“We also understand that the approach to reopening businesses may involve a more targeted geographic approach which recognizes that different parts of the state are having a very different experience in terms of transmission and infection rates.”
It is currently estimated that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate sits at 16 percent – nearly double its peak during the Great Recession – and the Department of Workforce Development predicts it could increase even more to 27 percent.
“There is no question that we must protect lives, but we must also protect livelihoods,” added Bauer. “WMC strongly urges Gov. Evers not to extend his Safer at Home order and to work with the business community on strategically and safely restarting the Wisconsin economy beginning on April 24.”
If businesses or individuals would like to sign onto WMC’s letter, they can do so by visiting wmc.org/restart.