FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Kelsey Eiben, Media Relations Kelsey.Eiben@economiccoalition.com
Coalition Urges South Orange County’s Leaders – “It’s Time to Open Businesses”
MISSION VIEJO, CA (April 28, 2020) – The South Orange County Economic Coalition is urging local, county, state and national leaders: It’s time for South Orange County to be “Open for Business.” The Coalition recently surveyed local business owners on the impacts caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The results are grim. Many local businesses and their employees are facing harsh consequences from the emergency orders.
According to survey responses, roughly forty percent of businesses have resources for one to two months of operations under the State’s current directives to stay home and shelter-in-place. With 73% of respondents owning these businesses for more than 10 years, not only will these closures further devastate a crippled economy, but it will also severely impact the local residents who have relied on these businesses for years. Some may have to shut their doors for good, putting thousands of business owners’ and employees’ livelihoods in jeopardy. “We want elected leaders at all levels to listen to struggling members of our business community and ask officials to help facilitate plans to open” said Steve LaMotte, Chair of the Coalition. “The message is clear: our small businesses, especially those in the service industry such as restaurants, eateries, and salons, will suffer irreversible losses if they can’t open under clear public health and safety guidelines.”
The Coalition encourages elected leaders to facilitate the development of clear guidelines and best practices for businesses to stem the pandemic. Many businesses have already imposed social distancing, higher cleaning standards, and mandatory personal protective equipment to slow the spread of the virus. Every business should be encouraged to develop and share additional techniques for protecting employees and the public.
“Businesses want to protect their employees and customers from the virus. If they demonstrate responsible and appropriate measures to slow the spread and protect the public, they should be allowed to open,” said Jake Vollebregt, a local attorney who serves as Chair of the Coalition’s Advocacy Committee. “What it comes down to is clarity: we are asking public officials to facilitate a critical path for businesses to open with the appropriate safeguards.”
Over the past two weeks, the Coalition conducted a survey of local businesses affected by the COVID-19 emergency. The survey was included on the Coalition’s website and circulated through its social media channels. The survey had a reach of 11,203 users and received 1,842 clicks. The survey received 99 responses from South Orange County business owners. Participation in the survey was completely voluntary. The survey had 22 questions. All questions were optional.
The report of the survey results was sent to South Orange County’s legislators, mayors, city council members, city managers, and chambers of commerce. For survey results and to learn more about the South Orange County Economic Coalition, visit economiccoalition.com.
Click here for survey results.
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South Orange County Economic Coalition
27758 Santa Margarita Parkway, #378, Mission Viejo, CA 92692 l 949.600.5470 l economiccoalition.com
The South Orange County Economic Coalition (SOCEC) is the premier voice of business in South Orange County. Serving the region since 1969, SOCEC works diligently to promote a strong economic climate through education, facilitation, and advocacy.