Arizona business leader, economist agree it’s time to re-energize economy

Apr 29, 2020, 7:27 AM | Updated: 8:27 am
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order is set to expire Thursday and two Valley business experts say reopening the economy is essential for the region’s health.

More than 470,000 people have filed unemployment claims since mid-March. Gov. Doug Ducey can let the order expire, extend it or modify it. The order has been in place since March 31.

Valley economist Elliott Pollack said it’s time to reopen the Arizona economy.

“You have to look at who is at risk and whether you can mitigate the risk for those people and the answer is you can,” Pollack said.

“So there’s no reason to permanently damage the economy, which is what’s going on. Every day this goes on the economy is more and more in trouble.”

Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Chris Camacho said reopening was necessary for the short and long-term health, but public health must be the top priority.

“Business leaders I’ve spoken with are heavily focused on the safety of employees and patrons,” he said.

“I expect to see a very different experience as we reopen society with masks, [personal protection equipment], social distancing as you enter restaurants and retail establishments.”

Pollack said, “Restaurants are hoping to reopen after weeks of only being able to provide takeout or delivery service.

“But if they’re allowed to open back up, they won’t been doing it at full speed.

He added it was likely capacity at the establishments will be far lower than before the outbreak.

“And they will run into supply chain issues.”

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Arizona business leader, economist agree it’s time to re-energize economy