Op-EdAppeared in Warwick Beacon on June 9, 2020By Ed Valenti

Business Lockdowns Need to End

To the editor:

The coronavirus pandemic has left businesses a shell of their former selves. The advertising agency I created—which employs many people—is no exception. Clients are spooked about the economy and business has paused.

My situation is only one example of pandemic-sparked financial challenges. Since March, a surge in business closures has left over 150,000 Rhode Islanders without a job. The loss of income will trickle throughout the local economy, drying up even more consumer dollars.

My business has taken advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program—which provided us with operating capital to pay employees and keep the lights on. But it won’t last forever. The economy should and could safely reopen. Luckily, Rhode Island has already begun the process and allowed some businesses to resume operations under social distancing guidelines. Afterall, businesses know how best to protect employees and customers alike.

The state should continue to relax business restrictions and give entrepreneurs the opportunity to revive the economy.