Some GOP lawmakers, party leaders call for economy to restart now
Some First State Republicans are urging Gov. John Carney to reopen the economy immediately
Delaware House Republicans and the Delaware GOP Party chair issued letters Thursday demanding Carney move now, citing concerns over small businesses.
House Minority Leader Danny Short (R-Seaford) says time is running out for small businesses.
"They’re laying out cash if they are still open and doing some of the things on a very different basis. Or, if they’re closed and still paying some of their employees," said Short. "We’re now at the end of that wire where the folks are just running out of cash. They don’t have that cash. They’re saying, 'Now’s the time I need to do something if I’m going to survive this.'”
Short says small businesses have worked with the state during the pandemic and believes that trust should be reciprocated.
"We got to have a little bit of faith in our small business community. They’re going to do the right thing because the small business community knows that if they do the right thing and they’re allowed to open, then they can start generating some income and maybe they pay their mortgages this month," Short said. "A lot of them have put up 60 days out or 90 days out, they got to be paid at some point if they are going to keep these properties and keep these places open."
Delaware GOP Chair Jane Brady agrees that small businesses have been patient long enough and should be trusted to protect their customers and employees.
"Wearing gloves, not getting out of the car, not going out if you don’t need to are things that we can all do to help protect themselves," said Brady. "Government stands in loco parentis when it comes to our kids in school. But, we are adults. We can make choices and decisions."
Brady also believes the state’s current policies put small businesses at a disadvantage.
"The policies pick winners and losers and that’s the concern that I have. That we’re not making reasonable decisions that are applied in a way that is fair between all the businesses," Brady said. "So, you have government policies saying if you sell food, you’re open all the time. And, if you don’t sell food, you’re closed all the time."
Brady believes the next thirty days will make or break businesses in Eastern Sussex County by the beaches. She notes they have a short window to make their revenue.
Short concedes a separate plan is likely required to reopen Delaware’s beach communities adding he believes no matter what the state does there may be a beach “invasion” Memorial Day weekend.
Carney laid out plans to reopen the economy last week. Among the requirements to start are a declining percentage of positive cases over 14 days, adequate hospital capacity and more testing and contact tracing.