WA Rep: Small businesses need a timeline for reopening

May 1, 2020, 5:11 PM
Seattle, coronavirus, streets, reopen, small businesses...
(Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio)
(Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio)

Governor Jay Inslee is allowing many recreational activities and elective surgeries to resume next week, but the stay-at-home order has been extended to the end of May with a four-phase reopening plan.

State Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber (R-Republic) worries that extending without a sound economic plan will make it hard to rebound, especially if the virus comes back stronger in the winter.

“We have to make sure that we can respond back. So we get back food on our table, that we can quickly get back to the job at hand, and reshape our economy because it’s looking very scary right now if you look at the projections into next year, what will be happening to our families moving forward,” she said.

Huge surge in Washington unemployment claims following expanded benefits

Beyond that, Maycumber is concerned how the public will react if we keep extending such a tight grip over society.

“What’s going to happen if it comes back this winter? Will people listen if [Inslee] continues to hold so tightly to the stay-at-home policies, and it takes this long for him to even set up a plan to talk about what small businesses and private businesses have to do to open?”

Recent reports show upwards of 1.5 million total claims for unemployment in Washington state. As Jason noted, the longer people are out of work and the longer the economy starts to tank, the faster people are going to want to break the stay-at-home order.

How long legally can Inslee keep extending stay-at-home order?

“Absolutely. We really need to talk about consumption equals production,” Maycumber said. “Is the world producing? Are we producing food or producing textiles? Are we working again? If we don’t go back to work and we’re not able to provide for ourselves, what’s going to happen into the winter and into next year?”

“Your small businesses want to have the conversation. They want to talk about getting back to work and what do they need? … But when you don’t have that conversation, you don’t set up a timeline, how do they know what they need to buy for PPE, or set up for their customers and for their employees, for their own safety?”

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WA Rep: Small businesses need a timeline for reopening