This letter from Chamber President and CEO Tony Sheridan appeared as an Op-Ed in The Day on May 24, 2020.
Time and again, eastern CT has shown the rest of the state our mettle and ability to unify around a cause. An all-out effort pulled the SUBASE off the BRAC list, we supported our military families during the government furlough, and everyone lent a hand in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. As a region, we have a history of looking out for each other and coming out of adversity stronger.
In this next phase of the state’s COVID response, we can demonstrate once again how we rise above partisanship and approach situations with common sense and a prevailing commitment to our community.
We are proud that the region has rallied around our small businesses, supporting them as they complied with state guidelines. Now as businesses reopen, we have the opportunity to show them even greater support.
It is essential that we all help businesses follow the state guidelines for safety. Only businesses that meet requirements for masks, social distancing and cleaning will be able to operate. As their loyal customers, we can promote their success by observing all the rules as well.
Eastern Connecticut maintains the lowest number of cases of coronavirus in the state because of our early and committed response. We can keep businesses open, restore jobs, reopen tourism venues fully, and fuel the economy if we keep these numbers low.
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT is pleased to help businesses reopen. This week, we will be distributing, free of charge, 5,000 masks that we received from Connecticut’s sister state in China, Shandong province. We will be sharing these masks with our members and nonmembers.
To obtain masks, visit ChamberECT.com/Masks, where you will find a request form to be completed.
Through our work on the reopening CT task force we have assisted in compiling a resource reopening guide that includes suppliers, financial needs, employee training and physical layout. A resource page on the Chamber website links to this guide. There you will also find a list of local businesses that can help with your reopening needs: ChamberECT.com/Reopening.
A successful reopening is crucial. We cannot afford a resurgence of infections in the coming months that would bring our economy to another halt.
It’s time to unite around our businesses and organizations. Our best course of action now is to follow the guidance of health experts and scientists to control the spread of COVID-19. It is the most effective way to show our appreciation for the sacrifices made by our front-line workers, to create an environment where our businesses can operate safely for staff and customers, and to keep the economy running.