County Commissioners Hear from Those Who Want to Re-Open Businesses

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – North Carolina has not met the federal guidelines for phase one of re-opening, but that’s not stopping some from pushing to re-open businesses sooner.

They spoke out to County Commissioners on Wednesday night.

“My belief is all jobs are essential. Lives and livelihoods are equally important, and we can’t have one without the other,” Fawanda Hill told commissioners.

“Decisions are being made about the shutdown from a public health standpoint, which makes sense. But these shutdowns are causing second and third order effects that will be far outside the sphere of public health,” Adam Huminsky told commissioners.

County manager Dena Diorio told commissioners the county will establish a “business leaders roundtable” to begin the conversation on how to begin a soft re-opening.

Participants will come from various sectors of the economy, with the first meeting Monday morning.

“We’ve got entire industries that are shut down. So it’s almost like a tale of two worlds. We have people who are winning big in this crisis, and we have people who are losing big,” said businessman John Marrino.

Marrino, the founder of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, is another person in the community pushing to re-open.

“It’s people’s livelihoods, and that is a public health issue,” Marrino told Charlotte City Councilman Tariq Bokhari in a podcast.

Marrino said he can social distance his business more effectively than a grocery store or other essential businesses.

“If somebody gives us guidelines on what our good practice is in the medical community, on the social distancing, I think as a responsible business person, we can manage that,” he said.