Ducey makes room for partial retail reopening as he extends Arizona shutdown
Arizona Technology Council and other business organizations weigh in
In his press conference on Wednesday, April 29, Gov. Doug Ducey said that some small retail businesses in the state will be able to partially reopen next week and that he’s working with the restaurant industry on plans to open some dine-in operations as early as May 12. The changes were announced as the governor extended all other provisions of his executive order that has kept nonessential businesses in the state closed and residents at home since the end of March. That order has been extended through May 15.
Partial retail reopenings will begin on May 4 and be expanded through May 8. Retailers that reopen will use social distancing and other measures already put in practice by larger essential businesses during the past several weeks. The governor emphasized repeatedly the decisions to enact and extend the order have been made with public health in mind.
Ducey said plans for how to reintroduce dine-in services with safety measures in place at Arizona restaurants will begin to be announced next week, with May 12 being the earliest date for those services to begin. That’s a date Ducey said was recommended by industry leaders who need time to make the necessary preparations. Additionally, Ducey issued an executive order to allow the resumption of elective surgeries at Arizona hospitals and health care facilities starting on May 1.
Backing the governor’s response was the Arizona Technology Council, which represents some of the biggest and fastest-growing companies in the region.
“Arizona has performed admirably to reduce the spread of the virus at every level – from the government to private citizens. We have come together to keep our distance from one another, and from a technology industry perspective, many organizations have worked hard to stay connected and reduce the impact on our economy,” said Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Tech Council. “We fully support the governor’s decision to keep the stay-at-home order in place until May 15 and gradually reopen Arizona’s economy in a phased approached. Together, will rebound from this pandemic and come out the other side stronger.”
Other groups, such as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also backed the governor’s approach to a phased reopening.
“The revisions put forth by the governor breathe needed oxygen into our retail sector. Stores that sell essential goods have proven already that they can operate safely, and we look forward to more retailers doing the same,” said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber in a statement. “We’ve also seen that restaurants can creatively and safely continue to operate, albeit in a modified way. We anticipate that the forthcoming guidance on dine-in restaurants will provide a needed shot of adrenaline into that important sector of the economy.”
Also backing the governor’s response was Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, who issued the following statement:
“Governors have to make tough decisions across the country and Governor Ducey extending the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order through May 15 is one of those. Governor Ducey continues to prioritize the health and safety of Arizona residents with our economic viability contingent on the health and wellness of the workforce at large. We understand the economic hardship so many people are facing as a result of the pandemic and will continue working diligently with our partners on strategies that will ease the burden for businesses and families as we live through an unprecedented time. Our team is dedicated to the economic recovery of Greater Phoenix and are steadfast in our commitment to this region’s long term prosperity.”