Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday updated his list of life-sustaining businesses he’s allowing to operate physical locations per the COVID-19 coronavirus emergency declaration he issued Thursday.
Immediately following that announcement Thursday, the Wolf administration was inundated with backlash by business owners across the state. Their voices were heard by Republican members of the State House of Representatives and Senate.
“We understand the dire health crisis COVID-19 presents in the Commonwealth. We understand that we are in uncharted territory as we try to prevent the spread of this deadly disease,” leading state Senate Republicans said in a statement. “At the same time, we know that every business is life-sustaining to someone – whether employers or employees. The economic devastation that is being caused will last long into the future, especially for small-business owners. Because of the manner in which the Governor released this information, we have more questions about his unilateral decision than there are answers.”
Business Owners React to Wolf’s Shutdown Order on Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses
Later Thursday night, after he’d ordered businesses closed, Wolf sent a message to legislators with instructions to distribute to business owners who feel unfairly impacted by the order he issued on Thursday. The message, according to State Rep. Russ Diamond (PA102-Annville), instructs business owners who feel unfairly classified by the governor’s order to email to RAfirstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re unsure of whether your business is supposed to close, email this address with your question: email@example.com.
Business owners have to wait for an email response to their request or question. So far, there’s a backlog of requests.
On Friday, Wolf updated the list of life-sustaining businesses but also extended the enforcement deadline for businesses that continue to operate despite being barred by his order until Monday, March 23. Despite the extension on the enforcement deadline, Wolf says the original order to close still stands.
Here’s the updated list from Wolf on Friday:
life sustaining businesses Pennsylvania updated
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SPECIAL SECTION: Coronavirus in Schuylkill County