Governor Beshear asks business for input on reopening economy

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Tuesday his administration is planning to open the state’s economy in phases and asked the business community for their input.  He encouraged businesses and associations to communicate with his administration on how they plan to re-open and maintain the safety of their employees and customers.

Heading up this effort for the Beshear Administration will be the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Latasha Buckner, Secretary of Economic Development Larry Hayes, Secretary of Transportation Jim Gray and Secretary of Labor Larry Roberts.

The “Healthy at Work” plan is a two-phase approach with phase 1 being a state-readiness evaluation and phase 2 is an individual business-readiness evaluation. During phase 2, businesses will need to submit an online application asking to reopen and the Department for Public Health will evaluate individual businesses’ ability to safely reopen. 

Beshear said businesses should consider significant changes related to how they operated prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Several examples provided by the governor and Chief of Staff Buckner included providing masks for staff and customers, providing proper distancing, avoiding the use of waiting rooms and common areas, properly identifying sick individuals, capacity to test and trace contacts and report data to health officials, and increased sanitation.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has been routinely surveying businesses across Kentucky over the last five weeks and has a task force as part of the Restart Kentucky: A Responsible Plan for Returning to Work initiative to provide industry-specific recommendations to ensure a phased-in reopening of the economy that protects the health of all Kentuckians.

This announcement comes following other states, including Tennessee and Georgia, announcing they will start reopening business as soon as next week.

Upon today’s announcement, Kentucky Chamber President Ashli Watts commended the governor by saying “On behalf of Kentucky’s business community, who has worked diligently over the past month to ensure the health of all Kentuckians, we are excited to provide industry-specifics recommendations to ensure a safe and methodical reopening of our economy.”

Businesses who have ways to re-open can submit their plans to healthyatwork@ky.gov.

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