May 7, 2020

East County Chamber of Commerce supports reopening San Diego’s economy as quickly as possible –

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – As San Diego County prepares to begin the reopening process, many elected leaders and organizations are publicly voicing their support to reopen the region.

The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, and other San Diego leaders, calling on them to reopen the economy as quickly as possible.

President and CEO of the East County Chamber, Rick Wilson, spoke with KUSI News to discuss his letter (below) via Zoom.

Dear Honorable Representatives:

On behalf of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce, our members, and the several thousand businesses in the East San Diego Region, I encourage you to do everything within your power to restart the economy as quickly as feasibly possible — in days, not weeks — prior to an economic meltdown that will have far-reaching implications for years into the future. We recognize that the course of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be rife with uncertainties, even with application of the most scientifically sound modeling. However, there is no uncertainty as to the affect on our economy and our member businesses. Although it is not beyond the realm of possibilities that California and the U.S. might accelerate the re-opening of the economy only to have an uptick in the spread of COVID-19 infections, our message is that we have to weigh actions to stop the increasingly severe economic injury against the chance of a COVID-19 resurgence. The time has come to place highest emphasis on re-opening the economy.

Consider these points:
• Thirty million nationwide have lost their jobs. Businesses are suffering and their survival depends entirely on the ability to reopen.
• The entire economy and all those reliant on it — meaning every single citizen of our nation — are solely dependent on the ability of these businesses and those they employ to function and work.
• Government policies related to COVID-19 continue to be decided based on worst case models and predictions that are proving to be far from reality.
• When all but essential businesses were shut down, the goal was to “flatten the curve” so that our health care system is not overwhelmed by critical need patients. We have been so successful in flattening the curve that now many of the very health care providers we were trying not to overwhelm are facing furloughs and unemployment themselves.
• Our economy is on the verge of collapse and cannot withstand another few weeks of economic lockdown without devastating results.

​Businesses and working people initially accepted the hard realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, largely for the “good of everyone,” with many believing a few weeks of lockdown would be the result. Close to two months later, it is now time for our elected representatives to consider swift action to reverse this significantly growing economic morass. We realize the decisions you face at this time may be the most important of your career. Thank you in advance for stepping up and doing the right thing.

Sincerely, Rick Wilson

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