MONTGOMERY, AL — The Business Council of Alabama today launched the grassroots movement to “Keep Alabama Open.”
The new campaign comes in opposition to recent public calls for a nationwide mandatory shutdown, which would come from the federal government if instituted.
BCA fully supports the State of Alabama’s ability and right to manage its own affairs when it comes to the public health and wellbeing of our people.
Throughout the pandemic, Alabama business owners and workers have worked diligently to follow State Health Orders and best practices when it comes to keeping customers and themselves safe, while continuing to earn a living and support their families.
Governor Kay Ivey’s administration has proven that the State is perfectly capable and willing to make the tough decisions needed to save lives and livelihoods, utilizing Alabama solutions tailored specifically for our unique situation and needs.
Through Keep Alabama Open, BCA will unite hardworking Alabamians in the earnest pursuit of protecting jobs and safeguarding self-governance. The message is simple: Alabama is best positioned to make decisions for Alabama.
“Nothing is more important to BCA than the safety of hardworking families across Alabama,” stated Katie Boyd Britt, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. “As this year has already shown, Alabamians are at their best when overcoming adversity. COVID-19 has stolen lives and destroyed livelihoods across our state, and these next few months will require all of us working together to win this fight. Now is not the time to mandate a nationwide, one-size-fits-all lockdown; instead, we must each renew our personal commitment to combatting this invisible enemy in order to safely and responsibly Keep Alabama Open. BCA commends Governor Ivey and her administration for continuing to exercise thoughtful leadership in this unprecedented time.”
BCA encourages Alabamians to follow all health guidelines and orders. COVID-19 poses a serious health threat to our citizens and communities. Personal responsibility and buy-in is needed to Keep Alabama Open. This campaign strives to highlight our shared commitment to the rest of the country. Alabama cannot afford to shut down, and, working together, we can save lives and jobs at the same time.
Many Alabamians depend upon their jobs for their health insurance and the means to support their families: to feed them, pay for medical treatment and medicines, and provide shelter. At the end of the day, a shutdown could not only put Alabamians in severe financial distress, it could also produce adverse health outcomes, even deaths. This threat is particularly acute to small businesses in the Yellowhammer State.
Britt emphasized that BCA is proud to stand arm-in-arm with fellow pro-jobs advocates at the outset of this campaign, including the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, National Federation of Independent Business, Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association, and Alabama Retail Association.
“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, businesses have found ways to innovate, allowing them to safely and responsibly keep their doors open for business. The Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama is excited to join BCA in the effort to ‘Keep Alabama Open,’ ensuring those businesses and families can continue to prosper in the great state of Alabama,” said Jeremy Arthur, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.
NFIB Alabama State Director Rosemary Elebash said, “NFIB is pleased to join the ‘Keep Alabama Open’ campaign to encourage Governor Ivey and elected officials to let businesses continue to operate as long as they continue to follow public health guidelines to protect their customers and their employees. Small businesses are determined to get through this, but they can’t keep the doors open without customers. Small businesses account for 99.4 percent of all businesses in the state and employ 47.5 percent of Alabama’s private-sector workforce. When we help small businesses, we help everyone.”
“Restaurants and hotels have historically operated under highly regulated safety guidelines and now have taken new steps to meet additional sanitation and social distancing guidelines required by state officials. As Alabama’s second largest employer it is important to us to Keep Alabama Open and its citizens employed. The National Restaurant Association estimates over 45,000 restaurants had closed due to the virus as of September. Our industry simply will not survive another shutdown,” commented Mindy Hanan, president and CEO of the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association.
“Alabama retailers have been devastated during the ongoing pandemic, and a shutdown would wipe out countless local, community-oriented retailers throughout our state who are working day in, day out to keep their doors open as it is,” advised Rick Brown, president of the Alabama Retail Association. “Our members are proud to be operating as safely and responsibly as possible to support their employees, customers, families and communities. With the Christmas season quickly approaching, now is the time to Keep Alabama Open and shop local – not lockdown.”
Members of the public wanting to Keep Alabama Open can join the movement on social media, as well as with new window signs and bumper stickers. For more information visit keepalabamaopen.com.
The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s foremost voice for business. The BCA is a non-partisan, statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.