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Ainsworth forms subcommittee to plan reopening of Alabama’s economy

Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) on Thursday announced that the Alabama Small Business Commission Emergency Task Force has formed a new subcommittee on reopening the state’s economy. The subcommittee plans to present a plan to Governor Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris by April 17.

The subcommittee on reopening Alabama’s economy will reportedly consider issues like how to best ease restrictions on restaurant and store capacity guidelines and how to incorporate social distancing needs with increased commerce once officials decree that the worst of the COVID-19 threat has passed.

“Reopening Alabama’s economy and getting businesses back to work will not be like flipping a light switch, but it will more likely be accomplished in stages once the COVID-19 pandemic begins to ease,” Ainsworth said in a statement on Thursday.

“The purpose of this subcommittee is to provide a roadmap to reopening the economy that balances the public’s health and safety with the need for small business owners and employees to resume operations,” he added.

State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) will serve as chairman of the subcommittee. He has especially been a vocal advocate for small businesses and factoring in economic considerations during the pandemic.

Other members of the subcommittee include:

Senator Chris Elliott (R-Fairhope)
Senator Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman)
Representative Joe Lovvorn (R-Auburn)
Rosemary Elebash – National Federation of Independent Business, Alabama State Chair
Mindy Hanan – Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association, Executive Director
Katie Boyd Britt – Business Council of Alabama, CEO
Rick Brown – Alabama Retail Association, President
Tony Cochran of CK Business Solutions in Albertville
Stephen McNair of McNair Historic Preservation in Mobile

Ainsworth is chair of the Alabama Small Business Commission and earlier this week unveiled a new website designed to provide small business owners with a one-stop online information hub related to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The commission has also been working diligently on workforce development issues since Ainsworth was inaugurated in 2019.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn