Gene Barr, president and chief executive of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, predicted Wolf’s order — unprecedented in its scope — would cause alarm in the business community, but he acknowledged “this is a place where there’s no easy answers.”
“He is faced with a tough decision, doing something that we all know is going to have significant economic damage, balanced against the need to save lives,” Barr said.
The chamber will review the state’s list of businesses deemed nonessential and potentially work to get some reopened, Barr said, but will not challenge Wolf’s overall authority to mandate the closures.
“We’re going to do it. The governor said this is what you’re going to do, we’re going to do it, we’re going to comply,” Barr said. Read more here.
The National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business advocacy group with 13,000 members in Pennsylvania, demanded to know the medical basis of the shutdown order, predicting it would cause personal and financial devastation. The group also said Wolf should have given companies more lead time to secure equipment and notify workers.
“We understand that there are necessary precautions that must be taken to protect life, but no other governor, even in states with many more cases and wider community spread, has taken this extreme action,” said Gordon Denlinger, NFIB state director in Pennsylvania.
The PA Manufacturers’ Association issued a statement saying Wolf’s order was “overly-board and imprecise” and will “thwart production of life-saving goods, prevent those goods from reaching end users and unnecessarily inflict lasting economic damage.”
The Association also expressed concerns “the governor’s haphazard list of which manufacturers can or cannot operate leaves paper product makers without timber, steelmakers without coal to use for coke, specialty metals manufacturers without paints, coatings, and solvents, etc.”
“There have been many well-intentioned actions to shutter all businesses in certain localities, and the result has unfortunately adversely impacted operations for the supply chain. In addition, we are working at the direction of the White House’s Pandemic Task Force and the Department of Health and Human Services to mobilize manufacturers to convert production lines at facilities across the Commonwealth to be repurposed for critical supplies, and they cannot do so if closed.’NewsClips:
AP-Marc Levy/Mark Scolforo: Governor Orders Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses To Shut Down
House Republican Leaders Blast Wolf’s Shutdown Order
PA Manufacturers’ Assn. Calls Wolf’s Shutdown A Panicked Order
Gov. Wolf Orders All Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses To Close As Of 8:00 p.m. Today Or Face Enforcement Action
CFA Approves $40 Million Transfer To PA Industrial Development Authority For $61 Million Small Business Assistance Program
[Posted: March 20, 2020]