Lawmakers must make difficult decisions in response to the public health and economic crisis of COVID-19. While many states – including Louisiana—have opted to close businesses deemed “non-essential,” our communities need a different approach.
Every day more families and businesses struggle under these arbitrary designations and the “stay at home” shutdown order. Each day that passes without a plan to reopen prolongs the economic crisis, permanently shutting down small businesses, making it harder for families to survive, and hindering the state’s ability to provide assistance and needed services in the future.
And yet, we’ve seen businesses large and small innovate to protect public health while providing the goods and services Louisianans rely on. From Shinchi Fujita making reusable masks instead of the karate uniforms he’s produced for fifty years to Three Roll Estate dispensing hand sanitizer instead of rum, Louisiana’s businesses are innovating to meet needs in real time across all of our state’s parishes.
Louisiana’s leaders should not make decisions based on the false choice between blanket business shutdowns and business as usual. Let our businesses innovate and find bottom-up, parish driven solutions that address needs at the community level.
We can re-open Louisiana for business, while protecting the health of our families and our neighbors.