The California Coalition for Safe Reopening, a group made up of 33 chambers of commerce and other business organizations, has released a three-point recovery program for consideration by state and local governments before ordering any more business shutdowns.
The plan comes as a response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order to temporarily close indoor dining operations for restaurants in 19 counties less than a month after allowing them to reopen.
"The Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber is urging California legislators to create long-term reopening plans, simple and enforceable protocols and support for businesses eviscerated by closure orders," chamber Chief Executive Nancy Hoffman Vanyek said in an email.
The three-point plan includes requiring the state to use emergency funds to supplement funding for county health departments and enforcement divisions that oversee adherence to reopening regulations; creation of a state COVID-19 Emergency Business Interruption Fund to provide grants to businesses for costs associated with the reopening and the subsequent shutdown; and the creation of a Safe Re-Opening Task Force to work with state and local officials to implement mandatory testing and open recovery centers as alternatives to shutting down segments of the economy.
Holly Schroeder, chief executive of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., said that Newsom’s “broad brush” order ignores regional differences within counties and efforts by businesses to protect customers and employees.
“Businesses have spent considerable resources implementing required health protocols,” Schroeder said in a statement. “The starting and stopping of these orders threatens their ability to continue operating and the livelihood of their employees.”
In the greater San Fernando Valley region, the coalition counts the Greater San Fernando Valley, La Canada-Flintridge and Glendale chambers of commerce among its members, along with the Valley Industry & Commerce Association, the Van Nuys business advocacy group, and the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Partnership. It also includes BizFed, an umbrella group of more than 180 chambers and trade groups.