The Greater Washington Board of Trade, which represents more than 300 organizations across all sectors throughout the District, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia, released the following statement.

The Greater Washington Board of Trade supports government and business leaders’ bold actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.   We also call for the continuation of significant measures that are essential to blunt economic impacts, such as the  COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 which passed in the District.  This and other critical actions are needed to support suffering businesses.

This unprecedented crisis is affecting each of our industries, small and large businesses, and all categories of workers. The extraordinary measures taken by government officials seek to “flatten the curve” of virus case growth so that adequate healthcare can be provided to avoid a public health calamity. Our region is fortunate to have an amazing medical community focused on caring for our residents.

Still, the economic consequences of these decisions are felt harshly across the region, especially for hourly and tipped workers who are losing their incomes overnight, and small businesses dependent on daily revenues. Government and business leaders must further deliver innovative solutions to meet current needs while preparing for an economic recovery.

“These were tough decisions for Mayor Bowser and Governors Hogan and Northam resulting in immediate business and economic hardships,” said Jack McDougle, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. “No leader wants to disrupt daily life and close doors for local businesses. It’s important that we all work together to protect the public health of our residents and workforce, and similarly important to proactively address the huge economic impacts affecting our region.”

For most leaders in the Greater Washington region, the COVID-19 situation is new territory—a challenge with far-reaching consequences. What we know from the 2018-2019 government shutdown, which also created widespread financial instability, is that our resilience stems from our ingenuity, generosity, and compassion. By working together, we can avert a public health disaster while protecting businesses, workers, and their families.

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