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Governor Kelly seeks input from business leaders

Posted by: Angie Prather on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Discussions have been taking place during the last several weeks among Chamber Board members and government officials at the county, state and federal level about how to facilitate the next step in recovery from the pandemic crisis. Prioritizing public health as the number one consideration, business leaders and elected officials are discussing ideas and formulating tentative plans about how to operate if and when state restrictions have been eased for both stay at home orders and business/social gatherings. Earlier this week 2020 Chamber Chair Junetta Everett shared that, "Obviously, we need to find a solution that is smart and safe but it MUST address the critical challenges businesses are facing during this time."  

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly invited twenty area business leaders to participate in a conference call today about this topic. The Governor and members of her staff spent thirty minutes with the group of Wichita leaders, led by our Chamber Chair, Junetta Everett. Governor Kelly stated that her primary goal for the discussion was to solicit input about what should be included in the state’s reopening guidelines that are being drafted. The state’s intention is to produce a basic set of guidelines for counties and businesses to work from and then customize for their particular situation if public health issues require stricter measures.

In addition to requesting their input, Governor Kelly answered questions posed by participants about how soon more COVID-19 testing would be available across the state, if the proposed reopening guidelines would address the potential age discrimination and if new social distancing rules would be based on maximum room occupancy ratings.

The Governor referenced the Opening Up America Again Guidelines recently issued by the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a reasonable approach to the situation and encouraged area business leaders to forward any additional thoughts on the topic directly to her Policy Coordinator, Vijay Ramasamy.

As the Chamber’s Wichita Resource Center continues to evolve with local and state developments, please continue to look for updated information under the Preparing for Economic Recovery section of the area devoted to EMPLOYER GUIDANCE. It’s already populated with the President’s Guidelines referenced above as well as return to work and recovery documents shared by businesses in specific industries.




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4 comments on "Governor Kelly seeks input from business leaders"

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Shannon Stiles on April 24, 2020 at 6:48:45 am said:
I am not a Doctor and I do not know how lifting the Stay At Home order will effect our community; therefore, I trust the experts in that field. Yesterday we had the highest amount of cases Wichita has seen thus far, I'm not sure that it would be wise to go back immediately when we have not reached our peak as of yet. But again, I am no expert in this area so I will leave it to the experts. I believe that our economy will rebound, but if we lose loved ones - we can't reverse that when this is all said and done.
Darrin on April 23, 2020 at 3:38:51 pm said:
As an essential business, we have been able to operate safely throughout this difficult time. However, the economic and health impact to not only our business, but also to our employees. We were forced to lay off over half our workforce. PPP funds have brought them back, but it will take time for customer demand and supply chain functions to be restored. Recent data indicates that Covid-19 is much more transmissible that thought and it appears that most have no symptoms. It has become more evident that this disease will run it's course even when isolation measures are extreme and with little more consequence than the flu season brings for our region. Lives are being destroyed right now by this shutdown. People are not receiving adequate medical treatment and diagnosis of life-threatening illnesses. We need to show some courage and start opening up society in a reasonable manner.
Craig Simon on April 23, 2020 at 3:37:13 pm said:
I believe other retail stores could open over the last 5 weeks we have experienced orderly and respectful citizens giving each space while shopping. This could be done in other retail outlets as well. Many restaurants have considerable spacing between tables, allow those to be open. At some point we all are going to have to put our toe in the water and we have already done that in grocery store, home supply stores etc.
Brian Hudson on April 23, 2020 at 3:35:30 pm said:
Dear Governor Kelly, when the initial stay at home was put in place, practically everyone agreed it was a prudent decision. you did your job. And Kansans did their job to alleviate the potential pandemic. We cannot continue rules that would be necessary for pandemics. It makes no sense to continue down a destructive economic pathway. Kansans are smart and resilient. the majority will be careful and conscientious. Thank you for your efforts and concerns. But, please let us make our decisions for ourselves.
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