Calls for phased-in restart of economy to begin before May 26
Last Friday, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution calling for a phased-in “smart restart” of our economy before May 26, beginning as early as the week of May 11.
MMAC’s support of Gov. Evers’ initial “Safer at Home” order through April 24 was strongly informed by concerns raised by health care leaders over the speed of the disease’s spread and the possibility of our health care systems being overwhelmed with critically ill patients. That initial Safer at Home period has had the desired effect of “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 spread to the point where we can safely begin reopening the economy, with measures in place to protect employees and customers, without putting our health system capacity at risk.
The extension of this order to May 26 is well-intentioned, and we appreciate the challenge that elected officials face in an unprecedented crisis. However, it is time to move forward with a smart restart to build employee and consumer confidence, which is the best cure for our economic ills. We believe the region can work together and find ways to resume additional economic activity while adapting smart practices to protect employees and customers.
To help prepare for this transition, the MMAC has published over the past several weeks:
The full text of the resolution is below. Over the past several days, we have shared this resolution with elected officials. We urge leaders on both sides of the aisle to work together and find solutions to safely get us back to work.
President of MMAC
MMAC’s Board of Directors is elected by our membership, and includes 70 CEOs representing a range of small, medium and large companies in our region. This includes leaders from our major health care institutions.
Smart Restart Resolution
Whereas the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce represents member employers throughout metro Milwaukee, whose collective workforce is greater than 300,000, and its representative board has assessed the impact of COVID-19 on the health, safety, economy and community of the region.
Whereas, the board recognizes that a gating criterion for this policy position is the capacity of the regional health care institutions to treat all patients requiring hospitalization, including the case load from COVID-19. Health care systems have the responsibility to manage crisis levels of care. They also have the capability to communicate the actions that are necessary to meet a crisis of care. Continued resources to build testing capabilities, along with tracing and tracking will be necessary to both protect public health and support a safe community.
Whereas, the Association will collaborate to share best practices with the broader business community that meet employee, supplier, vendor and consumer health and safety needs. And that implementation of these best practices will be essential for operating in the new normal, until a widespread vaccine becomes available,
Whereas, the Governor’s implementation of Safer at Home on March 25th was a responsible step to address the impact of COVID-19, having a positive impact on social distancing. And employers have also taken independent actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in their own organizations,
Whereas, the health and safety metrics are improving, the economy is deteriorating. It is imperative that a private-public partnership build confidence in employees and consumers to restore and accelerate an economic recovery. A continued smart restart of the economy is a prudent next step.
Be it resolved, that the MMAC board of directors endorses commencing a phased reopening of the economy prior to May 26th. The reopening plan should utilize occupational and industry risk to make the transition more quickly and safely than only utilizing essential vs. non-essential business definitions. It should also incorporate the available health care capacity and improving metrics under the Badger Bounce Back plan to advance to Phase One, as soon as the week beginning May 11th.