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Alabama Small Business Commission submits phase one reopening plan to the governor


MONTGOMERY, Ala. – On Friday, the Alabama Small Business Commission, an advisory body charged with formulating policies, encouraging innovation, and discussing critical issues relevant to the economic growth of small and independent businesses in the state, released its Reopen Alabama Responsibly: Phase I report and submitted it to the governor.

Gov. Ivey had asked the ASBC, under the leadership of Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, for recommendations to safely reopen businesses in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic while also protecting public health. Prepared by a subcommittee, the report was approved by the full commission.

A summary:

Already open

— Pharmacies
— Real estate agents
— Manufacturing & industry
— Agriculture

Recommended to reopen

— Retail (e.g. furniture, clothing, shoes, sporting goods, books, jewelry, and department stores)
— Restaurants
— Close contact services (e.g. barber shops, hair and nail salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo salons, massage services)
— Child care services

Recommended to reopen May 1

— Medical & health services (e.g. doctors, dentists, physical therapists, optometrists)
— Entertainment venues and gaming facilities (e.g. racetracks, casinos, museums)
— Beaches

Recommended to reopen May 11

— Youth athletic activities (e.g. baseball, softball)

The commission’s recommendations include capacity and waiting area limits; distancing, sanitation, and mask requirements; employee temperature checks; and limited interaction between employees and guests.

Read the full report here. To read President Trump’s Guidelines, click here.

The Governor expects to join State Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris in issuing a new and updated State Public Health Order “on or before April 28.”

“I appreciate the work that Lt. Governor Ainsworth and our Small Business Commission did in coming up with these recommendations.” Gov. Ivey said in a statement. “I’ve already sent this report to the Executive Committee of the Coronavirus Task Force, which I created, and I know they will begin looking at these suggestions and start plugging them in, where appropriate, as we weigh all our options about opening up the economy.”

“On a call with the president and vice president (Thursday), President Trump made it clear that this will be a gradual process, even as he said that our nation’s governors will be responsible for leading these efforts and that his Administration will continue to stand by us as we do this.”

“Consistent with what we’ve been saying all along, the president made it clear that the return to ‘normal’ won’t be a quick or simple process. We will need to see declining cases – and stronger testing – over at least 14-days – to make certain we don’t see a return in the spike up of the infection.”

“In addition to the report from the Small Business Commission, I also look forward receiving reports from our seven Members of Congress by the middle of next week. We’re also getting feedback from the mayors of our 10 largest cities – as well as a lot of other good suggestions – and our Executive Committee is already looking into many different ideas and plans. No good idea will be tossed aside, but even as we look at every way we can to reopen the economy, we’re going to need to continue to maintain social distancing and other health measures to ensure the virus doesn’t flare up again.”

“Again, I appreciate the work of the lt. governor and this Commission, and I’m very grateful so many Alabamians have rallied behind our efforts to keep people safe. Because of the efforts of the people of Alabama, I am confident we have saved lives, which will help us immeasurably as we strive to get Alabama back to work.”

Daily COVID-19 case characteristics from the Alabama Department of Public Health are here.

To date, 4,723 cases have been reported, and 147 deaths have been confirmed. ADPH is providing real-time data on its COVID-19 Dashboard here.

In Talladega and Coosa counties, 44 and 22 cases, respectively, have been confirmed, while neighboring Tallapoosa County has reported 180 and Shelby County has reported 257.

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