Rep. Miguez urges governor to reopen small business
It is no secret Rep. Blake Miguez is a straight shooter and shoots from the hip. Rep. Miguez is also not afraid to stand up for the little guy in South Louisiana.
Over the weekend, Rep. Miguez wrote a letter to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards asking him to reopen Louisiana’s small businesses. He sent it to the Governor on Sunday.
Rep. Miguez said he wrote the letter because he’s hearing depressing news from business owners who are struggling.
Rep. Miguez said, “I’ve been hearing heartbreaking stories about the devastation of our State and Local economy. Small business is the backbone of our economy. Many are fearful of losing their livelihoods if the economy continues to stay shutdown. I understand the daily sacrifices they are making to keep their employees and customers safe. The Governor needed to hear their voice and understand the pain and devastation an extension of his stay at home order could cause to our local economy. I pray and hope he considers this when he makes the tough decision on the path forward past April 30th.”
Based on what Gov. Edwards said last week, it did not sound like he was in a hurry to reopen Louisiana.
“We’re not going to get back to normal until we have a vaccine and some effective therapeutic treatments,” Edwards said at a morning, live-streamed news conference in Baton Rouge. “But, we’re not going to wait until then to start reopening the economy.”
Still, Edwards made clear that the reopening won’t be immediate. He pointed to statistics indicating stay-at-home orders and business closures have slowed the spread of COVID-19 and avoided overwhelming state hospitals.
“This is not the time to let up,” Edwards said.
Rep. Blake Miguez’ letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards
I realize that we are living in unprecedented and unforeseen times, and I want to start by acknowledging the difficult choices you’ve had to make over the last few weeks.
We’ve lost many Louisianans—including several who were very close to us at the Capitol. In the House, we lost one of our own—Representative Reggie Bagala—who will be impossible to replace.
Our state, nation, and the world will never forget this most challenging time. Our first responders, health care workers, and all essential employees have made countless sacrifices for all of us, and we are all eternally grateful. It’s encouraging that our healthcare resources appear to be even more adequate than initially anticipated. No doubt, this is due to swift precautions and valiant efforts made by our healthcare professionals.
Every day we hear heartbreaking stories of the devastating economic impact the shutdown is having on the people of Louisiana. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They have sacrificed and been pushed to the limits to keep their employees and customers safe. Many small business owners across Louisiana have been denied promised relief from the Paycheck Protection Program due to a shortage of federal funding, making matters worse.
Now that the curve is beginning to flatten, they are eager to reopen safely.
Your current executive order expires on April 30th. I know you are trying to be diligent and steadfast in listening to advice from healthcare professionals as well as develop a plan for reopening.
On behalf of my constituents, I urge you to begin the process of reopening those businesses, on May 1st, under the phased guidelines provided by the White House. In particular, the President and his health care experts spoke about the ability to reopen our economy on a parish-by-parish basis.
I strongly believe this is the best approach to balance both the health and economic challenges we face.
Louisianans have been understanding and patient during this shutdown. But a long-term statewide shutdown is not sustainable. Continuing this universally across the entire state would cause widespread damage to the wellbeing of all our citizens.
America, and Louisiana, is a free society. We hold dear the freedoms of assembly, religion, and all other rights. In two weeks, please let us begin to reopen. Our people deserve to enjoy the freedoms bestowed upon them by both our state and US Constitution.
Louisianans are strong and resilient, and we know better days are ahead. Members of the legislature are eager to get back to work for the people of this great state. I stand ready to return to the Capitol and work with you to ensure that we set a path forward for recovery.
Rep. Blake Miguez, Chairman Louisiana
House Republican Delegation