The following letter came from the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.
Dear Valued Member:
During these unprecedented times in the uncharted waters of the global pandemic we find ourselves, it is encouraging to see the public and private sectors working together and every individual doing their part to protect the public health.
As we move forward together and enter into the next phase of the pandemic with the health and safety of Maine people paramount, and knowing that a healthy economy is dependent on healthy people, the time is now to start thinking about reopening our economy. Maine needs to begin planning now, and planning well so when we do reopen, we do so in the safest, most responsible manner possible.
It is in this context that the Maine State Chamber of Commerce would like to highlight the guidance prepared by our friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here. This is a thoughtful framework dealing with the many issues surrounding reopening safely, including health and COVID-19 testing in the workplace, social distancing at work, regulatory issues, the liability of reentering a new workplace environment, public transportation and childcare considerations for the workforce, and more.
The following links offer details on specific issues for consideration:
- Essential Services and Resources
- Resolution of Regulatory and Legal Liability Issues
- Support for Businesses and Individuals
Additionally, you likely are aware that on Thursday evening, the White House released its blueprint for reopening the nation’s economy. Opening Up America Again is a three-phased approach offering guidance for state and local officials on reopening economies and getting people back to work while continuing to protect public health and safety. We appreciate its measured approach and direction from medical experts.
You also may be aware that both Senators Susan Collins and Angus King have been appointed to serve on President Trump’s task force on reopening the economy. This is a testament to the leadership, experience, and expertise of our senators, and to the importance of getting back to business in states where small employers are in many ways the backbone of economies.
We recognize that some regions of Maine and business sectors will find it easier to ramp up than others. There is no one-size-fits-all playbook. We also recognize the importance of balancing the health of our people and the health of our economy. Some may want to divide the two, but they are not mutually exclusive, and neither can operate in a silo. A healthy vibrant economy depends on jobs, economic activity, and a strong workforce. When we return to health, we need to be ready to return to work.
As the Voice of Maine Business, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce will continue to be a resource and advocate for Maine businesses during these uncertain times. We are committed to ensuring that we reopen our economy as quickly and responsibly as possible so that Maine employers and people can get back to work. Planning well in this changed business environment is key to our success. It is our top priority at the Maine State Chamber.Sincerely,
Dana F. Connors
President & CEO