District 116 State Representative Dale Wright and representatives of U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, U.S. Representative Jason Smith and Governor Mike Parson participated in a Zoom teleconference with Ste. Genevieve Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Dena Kreitler and other local leaders on April 29.
The topic was Missouri’s gradual reentry into economic activity after weeks of being shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Parson’s plan is called the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.
“As a community and as a chamber of commerce, it’s certainly been a trying time for our small county and also for our small businesses,” Kreitler said at the start of the meeting.
Jeff Earl, Parson’s legislative liaison, said Parson’s plan was similar to President’s Donald Trump’s plan.
He said it has four criteria — expanded COVID-19 testing, more personal protective equipment, monitoring hospitals and their capacities, and improving the ability to predict the virus’ spread.
“We are able to achieve these four things, so we thought we were ready to pursue the economic recovery across the state,” Earl said.
He said that several indicators show that Missouri is “on a downward projection” for the virus. The only section in the state not dropping off, he said, was the St. Louis area, which had essentially leveled off, he said.
He said a lot of local officials and business and faith leaders had all provided input.
“From the very beginning, the governor also felt that it was tough for him to decide which businesses were essential and which ones were not,” Earl said. “We want to get these small businesses open again. We want to get our beauty salons and our gyms and industries that were affected by some of those things going again.”
See complete story in the May 6 edition of the Herald.