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Business groups push for governor to re-open economy April 24

Dozens of the state's biggest business groups want the governor to begin relaunching the economy two weeks from Friday.
The business community is calling for action, but the governor said when it comes to opening the doors on business, science and safety come first.

"Our businesses are all dead in the water," small business owner Jean Marie Best said.

Best, who owns a small Vliet Street vintage shop, and a cleaning business, said she hopes she can re-open her businesses soon. she hopes she can re-open at all.

"We're expecting that we'll be able to return, but we're not sure," Best said.

"Obviously, there are jobs at stake. There are businesses at stake," said Kurt Bauer, of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Citing soaring unemployment claims, Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce, and more than three dozen other business groups are asking Gov. Tony Evers to plan now to begin re-opening the state's economy on April 24, when his Safer at Home order is set to expire.
"How much should the economic impact, the business aspect, weigh into the governor's decision of when to loosen those restrictions?" WISN 12 News reporter Kent Wainscott asked Bauer.
"It has to be a balance. We recognize the gravity of the situation. We want to protect lives, but we also want to protect livelihoods," Bauer said.

The governor told WISN 12 News on Friday, that he will follow the science in deciding when to loosen the restrictions.

"I appreciate their concern, nobody wants to open up the state more than I do, but we have to make sure the State is ready to be opened up," Evers said.

Best said she's not optimistic the shutdown will be lifted on the 24th but says if she has to wait too much longer to re-open the cleaning business she's had for 30 years, she may not open at all.

"If we're able to stay in business after the 15th of May, if this doesn't change, I'd be surprised," Best said.

A couple of things business groups suggested are re-opening individual industries of sectors of the economy separately and gradually or lifting the restrictions first in areas where the outbreak isn't as widespread.

Evers didn't address any of those specifics but said it won't happen all at once. It will slow and purposeful.
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