Keep Alabama Open was formed by the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and its president and CEO, Katie Boyd Britt.
Fellow pro-jobs advocates joined BCA in supporting the campaign on its first day; this includes the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association, Alabama Retail Association, Alabama Trucking Association, and Alabama Road Builders Association.
Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) was one of the first people to react to Keep Alabama Open’s launch; she shared her thoughts in a tweet, thanking BCA and “the business community for working with my [administration] to Keep Alabama Open.”
“I appreciate our businesses for actively working with us to ensure the safety of their employees & customers,” the governor added. “Together, we’ll [continue] to do everything possible to save lives & livelihoods.”
In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola commented further on Keep Alabama Open.
“Governor Ivey has absolutely no intentions to close businesses,” Maiola wrote. “Her role as governor is to protect both Alabamians’ health and their well-being, and as she puts it, ‘you cannot have a life without a livelihood.’ The governor continues to take a thoughtful approach for our state, ensuring that Alabama stays safely open for business. The governor appreciates this effort by the business community to partner with her as she works to make this a reality. Alabama should make decisions based on what is best for Alabama, and Governor Ivey will not be led by a one-size-fits-all Washington mandate.”
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) was also quick to react, throwing his ardent support behind Keep Alabama Open on Tuesday.
Alabamians can also count PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R-AL) as a champion of the newly launched campaign.
— Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (@TwinkleforAL) November 17, 2020
Additionally, members of Congress from Alabama voiced their support for Keep Alabama Open.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04), the dean of Alabama’s U.S. House delegation, said in a statement to Yellowhammer News, “I think this is a good, productive initiative.”
“We learned early on in the pandemic, that closing everything down was not the right answer,” he continued. “It simply turned one struggle (fighting COVID) into compounded struggles (fighting COVID and fighting to save our economy, jobs, and paychecks). While I am concerned about the rising cases of COVID in our state, shuttering businesses will not defeat COVID-19.”
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01) tweeted his support of BCA and others in Alabama “working to safely keep our businesses open.”
We cannot have dangerous and unconstitutional nationwide mandates to shut down our economy. I stand with @BCAToday and others across #Alabama working to safely keep our businesses open. Federal efforts to hinder individual state decisions in response to #COVID19 must be fought!
— Rep. Bradley Byrne (@RepByrne) November 17, 2020
In a statement to Yellowhammer News, U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06) noted, “We have seen that strict lockdowns have severe economic and health consequences. During initial shutdowns this year, we saw major increases in suicides and drug overdose deaths.”
“I believe we have now learned enough about COVID-19 to keep businesses as open as possible with responsible precautions,” he continued. “We need to isolate and care for the particularly vulnerable, but we also need to allow as many people as possible to go back to work.”
This came the same day that Palmer was reelected as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.
Members of the state legislature are also backing Keep Alabama Open, including House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia), House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) and House Majority Whip Danny Garrett (R-Trussville).
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn