Dear Governor Inslee:
On behalf of the Association of Washington Business and the Grassroots Alliance, a coalition of over 90 chambers of commerce representing thousands of small, medium, and large businesses throughout Washington, we write to you today to urge you to reconsider the recent restrictions added in response to COVID-19.
As you stated in your recent public address, this is both a public health crisis and an economic crisis. Our members recognize the severity of the public health crisis and have acted in partnership with state and local officials to keep employees and customers safe. We acted in partnership to quickly identify and implement measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We’ve made significant financial investments in PPE and building modifications. We’ve retooled operations to manufacture PPE for first responders and added shifts to reduce the number of people working at the same time. And our members joined in the successful effort to promote the use of face masks to protect against the spread of the virus and to keep businesses open and people employed.
We are proud of the work we’ve done together and the way that our members have helped lead the way during this time. We’ve dramatically changed the way we do business – to protect the communities we serve.
Unfortunately, the virus is continuing to spread, and cases are rising again. We agree that additional measures may be necessary to limit social gatherings – the number one cause of outbreaks. However, we are concerned about the application of new restrictions on business activity in selected industries.
Our collective chambers of commerce urge you to consider an alternative approach that considers both the public health consequences and the economic consequences of these restrictions. Rather than banning all indoor activity in some industries, we urge you to consider a universal 25% occupancy restriction for each identified industry. While some industries may require additional measures to ensure limited customer interaction, a 25% occupancy restriction would still allow some level of commerce to continue and employees to maintain their jobs and income.
Our collective chambers of commerce and the hundreds of thousands of employers we represent stand ready to partner with you to work collaboratively to knock down the spread of this virus, and we look forward to your consideration of our request.
Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce
Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce
Cashmere Chamber of Commerce
Covington Chamber of Commerce
Ferndale Chamber of Commerce
Fife Milton Edgewood Chamber of Commerce
Goldendale Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater Grays Harbor, Inc.
Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce
Greater Spokane Incorporated
Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce
Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce
Kent Chamber of Commerce
Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce
Lakewood Chamber of Commerce
Magnolia Chamber of Commerce
Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce
Moses Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce
Pullman Chamber of Commerce
Quincy Valley Chamber of Commerce
Renton Chamber of Commerce
Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce
Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce
SnoValley Chamber of Commerce
Toppenish Chamber of Commerce
Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce