NC Chamber: MORE THAN HALF of NC’s Small Businesses Will Be Lost by Mid-April if Stay-at-Home Order Remains

RALEIGH – The general counsel for the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, Ray Starling, told a special COVID-19 state legislative committee that North Carolina may lose more than half of our small businesses by mid-April if the governor’s ‘Stay-at-Home’ order remains in place.

From the Carolina Journal:

“[…] More than half of the state’s small businesses will close by mid-April if Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order remains, Ray Starling told the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic Support Working Group.

Cooper issued an executive order March 17 ending seated dining at restaurants and private clubs. He later added a stay-at-home order affecting all other “non-essential” private businesses. It runs through April 29.

Roughly 25% of small businesses have closed already, Starling said in testimony Tuesday, April 7.  Among those that haven’t closed, 40% will close in two weeks if restrictions aren’t lifted, he said.

Other businesses will suffer as hours dwindle. 

Gregg Thompson, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business — with 7,000 members in North Carolina — said the pandemic has hurt 92% of small-business owners. 

“I think the daunting, real question here … is, When do these losses become unrecoverable?” Starling asked. “At what point do small businesses say, ‘I’m going to shut down and give away the key’?” […]”

We at First in Freedom Daily, while not dismissive of the public health threat posed by COVID-19, were, however, wary of snowballing shutdown policies as the preferred course of action. Social distancing certainly has its merits, but at some point does the cost of a particular cure becomes worse than the disease itself.

We are working hard to ‘flatten the curve’ and keep hospitals here in North Carolina from being overrun like is some other parts of the world and nation, but is a enforced closure policy that sacrifices half of our small businesses a reasonable course of action? Beyond the pragmatic considerations; is it the right, moral course of action?

A headline like this was unimaginable just several weeks ago. While a novel virus maybe an act of God, the economic disaster is very much an act of man, and the policies manifesting misery should be revisited before it’s too late.

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