Op-EdAppeared in Daily American on June 2, 2020By Guy Berkebile

Time to reopen

To the editor:

For the most part, Pennsylvania is still on lockdown. Luckily, my chemical manufacturing business was deemed “essential”—allowing myself and roughly 100 employees to continue operating. However, not everyone has been so lucky.

Over the last three months, over 1.7 million Pennsylvanians have filed for unemployment benefits—which provides a snapshot of the state’s grim economic future if the shutdown continues. Meanwhile, Gov. Wolf continues to keep his pro-lockdown stance that is bridling recovery.

It’s time for the state to reopen.

My company has proven businesses can operate safely in this environment; we’ve even begun producing our own hand sanitizer! Social distancing guidelines, frequent cleanings, mask requirements and encouraging more at-risk workers to remain home are among the protocols we follow. If we can do it, so can the restaurant or flower shop down the street.

Businesses know how best to protect their staff and consumers. The state simply needs to give them the green light.

Guy Berkebile is the owner of Guy Chemical, a small business in Somerset, PA