As our conversations now turn to re-opening, it is critical that we do not undervalue the importance of bi-state coordination. With Indiana and Kentucky currently slated to reopen on different timelines, Greater Louisville, as a region, will be divided in a way that is not conducive to collaboration.
Just weeks ago, GLI applauded the newly formed cooperation between seven Midwest governors and welcomed coordinated efforts for the economic reopening. However, with the recent announcement of both states re-opening plans, it is unclear which elements or factors were considered to help reduce the barriers and challenges Greater Louisville will face with these seemingly misaligned plans.
We have many citizens who live on one side of the bridge and work on the other. How will this disjointed opening affect those who must cross the bridge into Indiana to work, while they struggle to find childcare in Kentucky? As a bi-state community our focus should be on the best ways to ensure our regional economy remains cohesive. We do not see the river as a divider of our community, and it is essential that it does not become one.
GLI understands that re-opening the economy will be hindered if we are unable to also bring childcare centers back online. Advocating for increased access to childcare has been a long-time priority for GLI because our members recognize the barriers that lack of access to childcare create for workforce participation. At a time when we badly need to be bringing employees back to work, we fear that many will be unable to return to their places of business without wide access to childcare services. This will ultimately make it even more difficult for employers to restart operations and get our economy moving again. Recognizing that many childcare centers have remained open over the past several weeks to serve workers at essential businesses and that the CDC has provided ample guidance for these centers, we think that a wider reopening of childcare services should be able to be done safely and promptly. This will be critical to supporting both businesses and working parents in the days ahead.
Masks and Temperature Checks
In a letter to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and senior members of his administration, GLI urged a reevaluation of certain business reopening requirements. Specifically, GLI highlighted the challenges of mandated masking and temperature taking for employers and requested increased flexibility for businesses. We were pleased to see this guidance updated just yesterday.
Get Your PPE
GLI is working hard to support our business community. As such, we have been sourcing some of the much needed PPE for businesses as we focus on re-opening the economy. If your company is in need of disposable face masks, you can purchase them in packs of 25 for $25.00 (plus sales tax) by placing your order here. We will have the masks available for pick up at GLI offices during scheduled hours throughout the coming weeks. More information on those details coming soon. For more information, please contact Deana Epperly Karem.