SAFE AT WORK
A Preliminary Framework for Louisiana’s Economic Recovery
Recommendations from the Louisiana Business Community
April 24, 2020
The Louisiana economy has seen job losses top 300,000 with thousands of businesses shuttered entirely. While the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the hospitality, retail, and healthcare sectors the hardest, as time goes on, consumer spending will stall and companies will begin to retain capital and cut costs as they attempt to prepare for an unpredictable future. No industry sector is unaffected. The coronavirus epidemic necessitated an unprecedented shut-down of the economy to manage the virus. While Louisiana is succeeding at “flattening the curve,” the consequence has been staggering job and business losses. Federal aid, combined with state programs, is providing some short-term relief, but it is critical that we restart the economy as soon and as safely possible. Not doing so will have grave economic and health consequences of its own.
This document has emerged from conversations with groups of business leaders and a widening array of business associations and groups around Louisiana. Overall, there is broad support for the social distancing that the Stay at Home Order has established across the state and clear recognition that it should remain through April 30, and until the healthcare system can support a gradual reopening. At the same time, there is broad recognition that the Stay at Home Order and a potential Safe at Work Order may not be in conflict. The essential businesses that have remained open and provided for the safety of their people can guide the development of protocols for safely working in closed-but-essential business and non-essential businesses. Nearly all those sectors can develop a protocol for safely working while Stay at Home is in place.
This document is meant to serve as a start to the conversation for returning more employees and businesses to work; it is not a final, prescriptive set of answers or solutions. It is a working document to catalyze a discussion; a plan that should and will continue to be modified as new details, viewpoints and suggestions emerge.
• Executive Summary
• Health and Safety First
• Stay at Home and Safe at Work Order
• Be Healthier, Safer, and Smarter at Work
• Legal Protections for Recovering Businesses
• Childcare and Daycare
• PPE Supplies for Reopening Business
• Consistent Statewide Regulations for Reopening
• Disadvantaged Businesses and Rural Regions
• Second Wave Concerns
• Gradual or Phases of Reopening, Sector Considerations
• External Readings on Reopening the Economy