Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, communities and businesses have been coming together in extraordinary ways to meet the public health and safety needs of the current moment.
Policymakers, activists, and businesses all have a role to play to see us through this pandemic. Businesses are especially in a position to adapt and innovate to get help to the people who need it, while still protecting public health.
That is why the Stand Together community, of which Americans for Prosperity is a part, has published an open letter addressing how businesses can best serve people during the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter outlines four key guidelines for thinking about the role of business at this time:
The question regarding the role that business can play is one that needs to be addressed. We must recognize the infeasibility of businesses operating as they were before the coronavirus while acknowledging that shutting down businesses will prevent people from responding effectively.
The choice between “business as usual” and “close all businesses” is a false choice. Businesses must quickly define the conditions under which they can responsibly operate in order to continue to employ people and produce the products and services Americans rely upon, while protecting public health.
Business leaders, along with public health experts, policy makers, and employees need to develop standards that businesses can use to help determine whether they can operate in a manner that protects public health. These determinations should be general guidelines because of the different challenges each business faces given their industry and location.
What’s needed is fast action that unites people behind real solutions. The extremes that are emerging in this discussion are unhelpful. We should neither ban business activity indefinitely nor should we demand a date when businesses will function as they did prior to the coronavirus.